Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are - Is it True?


The title of Meatloaf's 1994 song. I never gave it a thought at the time. Is it true?

Last week, I was parked up in my Rover 75 Classic. There was a fairly distant stationary van behind me. I suddenly noticed that the van appeared a lot bigger in the rear view mirror than in the side mirror. Was it because the mirror surface areas were different? Was it because the side mirror is a little further away from me?

No, it was because the rear view mirror has a slight magnification quality, a bit like a toned-down telescope lens. The funny thing is that I've been driving for over 20 years, and have never noticed it before. Check it out, next time you're behind the wheel.....
   

1 comment:

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