The sun is weird

Does anyone know why the sun looks like this near the ground:

But like this at cruising altitude:

Some real pictures show that it should still look like the first one.

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Does this take in to account the reflexes of the window?

It’s to do with the way light scatters in the atmosphere compared to the stratosphere (altitudes where planes cruise at). I’m a bit rusty on that part of physics, but at higher altitudes the sun’s ‘rays’ are not as visible, so it’s modelled correctly in the sim. Also, the photo you attached is from an aircraft descending and it is relatively close to the ground, so you can’t compare that photo with the sun you see at higher altitudes.

EDIT: Have a read of this article. It explains it much better than I ever can: Why the Sun Looks Smaller at Higher Altitudes - Geography Realm

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This is a photo from the near the top of Mt Everest which fixes both the problems of the window and of being on descent. The sun clearly still has visible rays.

Thanks, that article is great.

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