Friday, 27 January 2006

44° parhelion in Finland

Once thought to be an extremely rare halo, the 44° parhelia is now increasing it's appearances. The display on the right was photographed by Jaakko Tähti on 21. December 2005 at Viitasaari, Finland. To my knowledge, this is the eighth photographed occurrence of 44° parhelion. 

The formation of 44° parhelia differs from other halos in that it's not caused directly from sun rays, but from light rays of another halo - namely the common 22° parhelia. In other words, it is the parhelia of parhelia. Formation of 44° parhelia seem to require diamond dust conditions and very bright 22° parhelia. According to Jarmo Moilanen, also low sun elevation is essential to ensure there are enough ice crystals between the sun and observer. Here the sun elevation is 2°.

List of photographed occurrences of 44° parhelia: 
3 Dec 1970, Saskatoon, Canada, Earle Ripley (photos not shown)
23 Jan 2002, Vaala, Finland, Jarmo Moilanen (drawing shown)
June 2002, Greenland, Matthew Hyde
30 Dec 2002, Juva, Finland, Jari Piikki (drawing shown)
3 Jan 2004, Minnesota, USA 
21 Nov 2004, Teuva, Finland, Heikki Mahlamäki
21 Dec 2005, Viitasaari, Finland, Jaakko Tähti
3 Jan 2006, Stockholm, Sweden, Yvonne Primé


  1. Jaakko Tähti deserves congratulations!

    For completeness of the records, the Minnesota display was on 3rd January
    2004. A low sun display. Bright left and right hand 44° parhelia were photographed. The 46° halo was bright and this allows the precise angle of the parhelia to be measured by comparison of their position with that of the 46° halo.

  2. Drawing of Jari Piikki is in Sivuaurinko 1-2003.

  3. Added 7th 44° parhelia case, from Greenland. Also changed link for Piikki case, now there is drawing shown. Thanks goes all to Patrik for notifying me about these.