A while back, I was turning onto a local highway at a rather busy intersection and I noticed something far off in the distance. It was a glint of light just above the horizon. It wasn’t a plane or an celestial object. It wasn’t something I’d noticed in all these years living in this area. I wondered what was north of us and would possibly cause this phenomenon.
Nah. It couldn’t be.
It has to be.
I was seeing the skyline of Atlanta from about 35 miles distant. Now this isn’t special so much as it’s the only spot in my hometown where this is possible at street level. I mean it’s a patch of road maybe 1/8th of a mile. You have to be in the right place at the right time. Conditions also need to be right. Atmospheric refraction plays a part too. I’ve noticed that some days it seems higher up and some days it’s hardly noticeable at all. So that’s interesting in itself.
I took it upon myself to try and confirm this hypothesis. I’ve tried multiple times to get a photo and all to no avail. Finally, I took a picture that, at first glance, seemed to have been another failure.
I took it and looked again on my computer really, really hard and though I saw something ever so faint. I went into “Enhance!” mode and managed to pull this out:
Yep! There it is. The tops of a couple of buildings in downtown ATL. Cool eh? Yeah, on a super clear day then the images would have been … better. What’s impressive is that anything came out of that at all. Here’s another look with a Google Earth overlay and the approximate same angle I’d see it from.
So, next time I hope I can get a clearer view but I’m just glad that I wasn’t seeing things.