Sunday, 26 March 2006

Elliptical halo in Helsinki

Elliptical halo appeared in the skies today on 26. March 2006. This was one of those rare long lasting displays, with almost an hour duration. The image here shows some of the stacked photos of the display. All together I took more than 600 shots.

The formation of elliptical halos is still somewhat mysterious. While good simulations are produced by obtuse hexagonal pyramid crystals having pyramid apex angles of around 175°, the current knowledge of ice physics does not give much support for such a crystal.

The display was formed - as usual - in Altocumulus virga. More on the cloud associations here.

By Marko Riikonen

Sunday, 19 March 2006

Upper Lowitz Arc in the German Alps

At October the 15th 2005 in southern Germany was one of the greatest Halophenomena, which has ever been observed in Germany. It was photographically documented by six observers on a latitude of 100 km. There was seen a bright 22° halo, glittering bright sundogs with absolute clear colours and a high part of blue, a complete and bright upper tangent arc, a reddish lower tangent arc, a highly coloured and complete Circumzenithal arc, a light-coloured and nearly complete Parhelic Circle, the complete Lowitz arcs, the Anthelion, the 120 deg parhelia with oblique arcs, a single Superlateral arc, both Infralateral arcs as well as a beauty of Parry arc. Altogether there were seen 15 miscellaneous Halo types with 20 appearances.

By Claudia Hinz

Friday, 17 March 2006

Thursday, 16 March 2006

Latest halo displays from Finland

During the last days series of reasonable displays developed over Southern Finland. Three of them were in moonlight and one in sunlight. Elliptical halo, 9° and 18° halos and Parry arc were observed. See photos and drawings here.

The picture on the left shows the halo development in Tampere on the night of 14/15 March. Among common halos, faint 9° halo and Parry arc are also present.

By Marko Riikonen

Wednesday, 15 March 2006

Trickers and diffuse Anthelic Arcs in Germany

Alexander Wuensche from Görlitz (southeast Germany) observed and photographed these wonderful Anthelic arcs.

He writes: "In the morning of February 23, 2006, snow stars fell from the cloudless sky. The temperature was 2 deg below zero and there was a slight breeze from northeast. In the northern and northwestern direction the were remains of a Stratus and Stratocumulus cloud layer. In these clouds, the Anthelion with Trickers and diffuse Anthelic Arcs appeared.
The phenomenon was restricted to the direction opposite of the sun. In the direction of the sun I only spotted two small non-spectacular sun pillars."

By Claudia Hinz

Elliptical halo in Diamond Dust

At 13.03.2006 accumulate a diamond dust on the 1835m high top of the German mount Wendelstein above a 1400m high cloud layer, which consists of tiny little snowstars and very long ice columns.
Therein forms out a bright glittering lower sun pillar with subsun. After a half an hour both halo kinds weaken clearly, but in return there accumulate two elliptical rings around the sun, before the whole halo spook was disappeared. The diamond dust was in the air all over the day, but no halos were observably anymore.

By Claudia Hinz

Friday, 10 March 2006

Light pillars in Finland

These light pillars were seen on the night of 8/9 March 2006 in Lappeenranta. The spot-like appearance is because the majority of the plate like ice crystals reflecting the lamp light are concentrated in a layer above the ground. Photo was taken by Tomppa Jurvanen. More of his scenes from the same display: 1, 2, 3

By Marko Riikonen

Sunday, 5 March 2006

Venus Pillar and Star Pillars

Neither sun pillar nor moon pillar is not a rare halo. But a "venus pillar" is hardly found. 

The photo was taken by Myao (his handle), who was searching for Comet Pojmanski. It was before dawn of Mar 4, 2006, in Tsukuba, Japan. 

He also observed short "star pillars"! A close-up image can be seen in his site (in Japanese).

by Yuji Ayatsuka

Thursday, 2 March 2006

Good display in Finland

This halo complex was seen in Kajaani on 26. February 2006. The photo was taken by Kalevi Härkönen. For more see here.

By Marko Riikonen

Wednesday, 1 March 2006

Halo meeting in Finland

Coming summer, on the weekend of 14-16 July there will be a meeting for halo and other atmospheric optics enthusiasts in Finland. The location is the Artjärvi observatory in Southern Finland countryside. In the program there will be talks, watching people's photos and just hanging around with each other.

Many Finns and some foreign participants have already signed in. We hope to get wide participation from abroad. The official programme will be kept in the English language. If you are interested in coming, please contact me at the address found here and I will tell more details about the meeting.

(The picture shows odd radius halos from last summer in Eastern Finland)

By Marko Riikonen