Thursday, 22 April 2010
Lowitz arcs on old film photographs
I found my record, sketch ( <a href=" http://www.ursa.fi/blogit/media/blogs/halos/Lefaudeux/18-09-98-17h15-17h55HL_post.jpg">1 ) and pictures ( 2 - 3 - 4 ), and realized there were very prominent Lowitz arcs too!
From my notes, the display happened on September 18th, 1998, between 17h15 and 17h55 local time. The sun was at 24 degrees altitude at the middle of the display. At that time, I had little knowledge of the halos. I just knew from astronomy books about parhelia, 22° and 46° halos. I had observed before upper tangent arc (which I called upper 22° parhelion) and circumzenithal arc (which I called upper 46° parhelion), but never Parry arc.
During the display, I was mesmerized by the colourful upper suncave parry arc and by the parhelion brightness. My notes are focused on these arcs, especially the Parry one, with detailed description of its length, width, brightness and colors. Nothing on the Lowitz arcs except the sketch which shows radiating arcs from parhelia.
The stitched picture shows almost complete upper Lowitz arc, very long Parry arc and faint 22° halo. There are also some weird bands on the bright parhelion. I think I have some memories of shadow bands running across the parhelion, a bit like in the video by Anna Herbst ( <a href=" http://spaceweather.com/swpod2010/11feb10/anna-herbst1.mov?PHPSESSID=liolll4f05nuq4m9ascc45gpg5">5 ), but cannot be sure as there is no mention of these in my notes.
I really wish I could observe again such an exceptional display now that I am able to appreciate it to its true worth