Why don planets flicker in the night sky?
Well, as you correctly state, irregularities in the atmosphere cause deviations in the path of light through the atmosphere…which must clearly affect all light the same (obviously wavelength affects the amount of distortion too, I mean in general). I would therefore guess that it is the high intensity of light from stars plus the slightly larger size of the dot of light, coupled with the way our eyes work which causes this illusion. The eye will find it easier to spot a change in intensity from “very dim” to “more visible”, whereas the eye isn’t very good at spotting small changes in something which is quite bright. (ie. planets do flicker….you just can’t see it as clearly as with stars) The random nature of the deflection also suggests that light from one edge of the planet may be sent away from our line of sight while light from the other side may be deflected into our line of sight, averageing out at a fairly constant value. Stars are much more of a “point source”,so any deflect