Glorious Day for a Glory
At first this may appear as a picture looking up at an airplane flying through a hole in the clouds and surrounded by a circular rainbow. It's not! Rather, the photo depicts what is known as a "glory" surrounding an airplane's shadow.
While you may not have heard of a glory, let alone seen one, you've probably heard of and seen a corona -- a ring of colored light surrounding the sun or moon. Coronas are formed when sunlight or moonlight is deflected around individual water droplets. They are sometimes seen when thin clouds partially veil the sun or moon.
Keep reading for more on glories. See our full forecast into early next week.
Glories are effectively "anticoronas," in that they occur at the point opposite the light source. A glory occurs when sunlight bounces off water droplets and back in the direction from which it came. Glories appear as colored rings of light, most often below an observer on a lower layer of mist, cloud or fog. Thus, they are typically seen from airplanes or mountains.
The only connection between a glory and an object's shadow is that they both happen to be located in the same place -- opposite the sun.
The glory in this picture was captured on an October 2007 flight from Toronto to Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Description adapted from the May/June 2008 issue of the D.C. American Meteorological Society newsletter.
Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | October 3, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | October 3, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse
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