Why don’t planets twinkle?
Stars twinkle in the night sky due to the scattering of their light by turbulent motion of air in our atmosphere. But why doesn’t the light reflected from planets or the moon appear to twinkle? We use lasers to show how light coming from a single point, similar to how we see light from distant stars, will jitter (or twinkle) when exposed to turbulent air. However, lasers with a wider beam width, resembling the more extended light from planets or the Moon, do not produce a jittery image since the fluctuations become averaged over the wider image.