Meaning of scintillation

scin•til•la•tion

Pronunciation: (sin"tl-ā'shun), [key]
— n.
  1. the act of scintillating; sparkling.
  2. a spark or flash.
  3. the twinkling or tremulous effect of the light of the stars.
  4. any small-scale twinkling or shimmering of objects that are viewed through the atmosphere, caused by an interception of the observer's line of view by inhomogeneities in the atmospheric refractive index.
    1. a flash of light from the ionization of a phosphor struck by an energetic photon or particle.
    2. random fluctuation of the amplitude, phase, or polarization of an electromagnetic wave.
  5. (on a radar display) a slight, rapid shifting of a spot of light or the image of an object about its mean position.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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