Category: "Atmospheric optics"

A rare heliac arc? (plus six others)

February 5th, 2019
The day starts sunny and bright, but later you note a slight muting of the surrounding landscape. It is still bright enough, but you feel less heat bearing down. Apparently, a thin veil of high clouds has slowly and silently appeared above. When this… more »

A Fogbow

October 25th, 2017
A fogbow, or cloudbow (fog is a type of cloud), is a special type of rainbow. It is just white, and so not as often photographed as the full-spectrum rainbow, but it can be exciting to see nevertheless. [image:72] The reason the fogbow is white is… more »

It’s not a rainbow (it’s better)

August 12th, 2014
In summer, the sun reaches higher elevations, bringing the possibility of new atmospheric displays. I saw this one in mid-June. The top, upward arc is the more familiar and common 22-degree halo. But pay attention to the one on the bottom. Its colors… more »

Halo in the sky? Uh, I don't see no halo...

April 20th, 2014
After a few days of fine bright spring weather, the barometer falls and a south wind begins to blow. High clouds, fragile and feathery, rise out of the west, the sky gradually becomes milky white, made opalescent by veils of cirro-stratus. The sun seems… more »

Reflections off Falling Crystals

December 26th, 2009
On my morning icespotting trip the other day (12/23), I caught a glimpse of an unusual sight - a sun pillar. I thought I saw one once last winter, but this one was unmistakable. It seemed more striking even than the one in Robert Greenler's book… more »