Good morning cirrus clouds…

and another exciting halo event!

DSC_3455There is no luck except where there is discipline.

Irish Proverb

I’m breaking my weekly blog post routine to write a follow-up on yesterday’s post. I wrote that one on Saturday night to publish in the morning and upon going outside saw cirrus clouds and a 22 degree halo forming around the rising sun. While these are more common than rainbows, occurring on average 100 times a year, what happened a little later was very exciting for me.

Halos are formed by orientation of different types of crystals in the atmosphere and size, shape, alignment, and perfection all play a role. Type of crystal, column or plate, play a role in what type of halo appears and when I see a combination of ice halos start to appear, indicating the presence of both types of crystals…I start to pay attention.

This happened yesterday when I saw a solitary sundog appear to the left of the 22 degree halo. Sundogs are those bright rainbow colored spots that occasionally appear to the left and right of the 22 degree halo encircling the sun.

Although I may not see another group of halos like I photographed in yesterday’s blog post again since some of those halos are only visible on average 1-4 times a year, I’m always excited at the possibility.

On Sunday morning my persistence paid off and I was able to add a parhelic circle, visible on average 4 times a year, and a 120 degree parhelia, visible 1.2 times a year on average, to my collection! I also captured a supralateral or possible 46 degree halo, the two are often hard to differentiate between and occur on average 4.2 times a year, and a circumscribed arc.

In the image above, the 22 degree halo is in the bottom right, the parhelic circle is the white halo extending up the top left, and that small circular spot just above midline on the circle is the 120 degree parhelia.

I credit as always, Les Cowley of Atmospheric Optics for all of the knowledge that I’ve gained about this fascinating subject and the assistance that he provides me in identifying halos that I might not be familiar with.  I encourage you to check out his site and can assure you that you will be amazed at what you will see and read about there!

 

One thought on “Good morning cirrus clouds…”

  1. I bet that not many people who know as much as you do about the skies are able to take the type of photographs that you come away with!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s