Why Do We Draw Pointy Stars?

Image credit: 
YouTube / MinutePhysics

Here's a deep question: When we draw a star, why do we draw it with points, even when we know spheres don't have points? It's a question I hadn't thought to ask, and the answer frankly surprised me; the super-short version is that we see them as pointy, due to various optical properties. Set aside three minutes for Minute Physics to explain:

Minute Physics also points to this research paper (PDF) entitled Shape of stars and optical quality of the human eye, which is full of interesting illustrations. Note: please do not shine lasers into your eyes in order to test this; squinting is acceptable. Thank you.

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August 27, 2014 - 11:57am
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