Thursday, 23 February 2017

Project Kern

I would like to announce an exciting new initiative aimed at the whole halo community. 

For a long time, the Kern arc has been considered the “Holy Grail” of halos with only a handful of observations having been made and even fewer images captured. This year, I would like to invite all committed halo observers to really concentrate their energies on the area around the circumzenithal arc where the Kern arc appears. The aim is to try to photograph as many Kern arcs as possible this year, to better understand their frequency and to ascertain whether they really are the rarest of the rare. This initiative will go by the name of Project Kern.

I think that many more Kern arcs may potentially be photographed if observers routinely focus on this area of the sky. In the past, many Kern arcs may have been missed by observers concentrating their efforts too much on the activity occurring below the circumzenithal arc. In this endeavour, always try to use a tripod and take a series of images for later stacking. In this way, I hope that you will be able to capture several more of these elusive halos in 2017. I am sure that once more observers start actively hunting the Kern, more examples will follow as a matter of course.

I would very much like to encourage everyone to participate in this project and Halo Vault will be pleased to publish any Kern observation you might have the good fortune to make.

Alec Jones


  1. I always look for Kern whenever there is bright CZA.

  2. Michael, I hope you are successful in your Kern hunting endeavours this year. I am trying to encourage as many observers as possible to participate in this project. I would also like to hear any predictions for the total number of Kerns we might get in 2017. It will be interesting to cross reference predictions with actual results at the end of the year. To get the ball rolling, I predict that two daylight Kerns will be photographed by the close of 2017. Anyone else like to hazard a guess?

  3. I support this initiative! Since I saw Reimaa's display which includes hight-cloud Kern arcs, I started to set the field of view of my camera higher than I did before. I hope I am lucky in the coming years

  4. With you capability for all-sky, when big displays occur, I would just keep the camera straight up and change nothing until the display is over. You get three benefits from this:

    1. every halo that there is will be captured
    2. longest possible stack and thus the best halo definition
    3. possibility to do a nice time lapse.

    As for the Kerns this year, I put my guess also at two (including Lunar).