Can Stars Be Seen During The Day?
There’s a persistent belief that the stars in the heavens (masked from sight during the day by the light provided by the sun) are easily viewable when seen from the base of a very tall chimney, or from a deep well or shaft. According to lore, this narrowed field of vision serves to diminish the brightness of the daytime sky making the ordinarily invisible stars visible.
What People Perceive About Telescopes
The belief about stars being visible during the day when one gazes at the heavens from deep wells or shafts is somewhat fueled by what people perceive about telescopes: that stars one can’t see (or can’t see well) with the naked eye during the daylight become easy to see through its long, dark tube. Sadly, that belief credits the instrument’s tube for the magic that’s actually performed by its lenses.
Belief Doesn’t Work In Practice
The belief of being able to see stars from deep places is an old one. Aristotle (384 BCE – 322 BCE) mentioned it in one of his essays and Chapter 20 of Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers begins with it. Ancient or not, the belief doesn’t work in practice. What can be seen of the daytime sky appears bright blue, not inky black making stars stand out. Actually, the dark sides of the shaft only serve to heighten the contrast to the bright daylit sky. So, looking at the sky from the depths of a well does not turn the visible daytime sky into a canopy of darkness filled with twinkling stars. Therefore, the answer to whether stars can be seen from the bottom of well during the day is that it’s FALSE.