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I got into a discussion regarding the light from the Sun that reaches the Earth and whether it maintains the same path from the moment it was emitted to the point it is processed by our eyes. My thoughts were that each photon reaching the surface of the Earth must have undergone some refraction/reflection while passing through the Earths atmosphere, so while the apparent path of any individual photon can be traced on a straight line directly back to the Sun, the chances of this occurring are slim and from this and one of the answers from this, it would appear some bending does occur, so it is near impossible to have a photon reach our eyes that has maintained a straight path from the Sun since being emitted.
The question here is: if light travels in a parallel path, what then explains the phenomenon where a break in cloud cover produces two rays of light that seemingly converge at a point (Sun).
My thoughts were that the sheer size of the Sun and the amount of light being emitted would create such an illusion of the divergence in light beams, but then I am unable to reconcile that with the beams not maintaining their actual path. Any explanation or pointers would be appreciated.