Saturday, 5 April 2008

Subsun and Bottlinger's ring

Dmitry Savvateev observed a subsun in 2006 in the Khibiny Mountains (Kola Peninsula, part of the Murmansk region). This subsun, however, seems to be accompanied by a much rarer halo: Bottlinger’s ring. Even though this case is a marginal one, the elliptical halo appearing around subsuns is so infrequent that the photo is worth showing here ( 1 ).

Just as elliptical halos formed around the Sun, Bottlinger’s rings can also be of one, two or three ellipses. The 1997 photo taken by Frank Wächter shows multiple rings ( 2 ), in the Khibiny picture, there is only one ellipse.


  1. marko riikonen5 April 2008 at 14:40

    Yeah, maybe it is there, maybe not. Anyway, Bottlinger rings are one of the most difficult halos to come by. You have to fly or live in the mountainous regions but that's not yet enough: you have to be very vigilant and get lucky.

    Possibly the halogen lights will yield more observations in future. In 1999 December in Kaamanen Leena Virta and I saw an elliptical halo around a bright light.

  2. Its hard to tell but it may very well be there. On march 23rd when I got that elliptical halo display that lasted over two hours I would see a jet fly over from time to time and I had a feeling that if there were any halo watchers aboard they could be looking at Bottlinger's on the ice crystal haze generated by the large amounts of dissapating AC clouds that were moving through the area.