Optical Phenomena of the Sky

 The National Audubon Society writes "that an Optical Phenomena are the visual results

 of a wide variety of physical conditions in the atmosphere.  

These phenomena occur through the refection, refraction, and diffraction of light. "

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HALOS       Halos come in full circles but more often come in complex curves.

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Arc 2.jpg (18632 bytes)

 

 

While up at Sullivan Lake, Washington I happened upon this rare phenomenon combination of a Parry Arc and a Circumzenithal arc, with the sun was low in the horizon.

The Parry arc, lower of the two, is a combination of an upper concave Parry Arc and a circumscribed halo below it forming a football shape.

 

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Circumzenithal Arc

PARRY ARC with a CIRCUMZENITHAL ARC 

 

 

Circumzenithal arcs form when the sun is less than about 32' above the horizon.

 

 

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HALOS
IMG_2245.jpg (43418 bytes)I didn't realize till later that this was a halo.  IMG_2244.jpg (45619 bytes)

The beginning of a halo that over a period of time turned into the next picture.

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Some halos are soft red on the inside and pale blue on the outside like this one. Captured out my back door using the tree to block the sun.

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UPPER TANGENT ARC
 

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Halo with an Upper tangent arc 

and  two sundogs.

The upper and lower Tangent arcs are caused by refraction of light above and below the sun though ice - crystals. 

    

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PARHELA OR SUNDOGS

 

Sunlight refracting 

at at 22' angle thought 

Hexagonal ice-crystals

 

This one was caught while on Mt. Spokane 5200 ft. 

Note the smoke from burning made it impossible to see the valley below.

IMG_8509 Mt. Spokane view, Sundog.jpg (39033 bytes) IMG_8505 Mt. Spokane, Sundog.jpg (35203 bytes)

Close up.

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Sundog with a horizontal white tail

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Commonly seen in Cirrus clouds.

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SUN  PILLARS
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Pillars are a shaft of light that comes up from the sun. The sun is usually low on the horizon. 

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Crepuscular Rays

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Pend Oreille Lake, Idaho

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The Hobbit Walk  

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The sunlight is scattered by molecules and particles in the atmosphere. 

Good thing for us.

 

 

 

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MOONBOWS

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RAINBOWS

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Oregon waterfalls

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Spiders Rainbow

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Kalispell Lake Rainbow

 

 

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 Night time Rainbows at a Monster Truck Rally     

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 It was raining at the time.

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 IRIDESCENCE
IMG_0382.jpg (67431 bytes) IMG_0384.jpg (51023 bytes) The color bands are due to the light being diffracted by water droplets of fairly even size. IMG_0391.jpg (49987 bytes) IMG_6950.jpg (29704 bytes) IMG_7435.jpg (59589 bytes)
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COLOR 

CODED 

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KELVIN-HELMHOLTZ WAVE
 

100 feet high, lasting 1 - 20 minutes.

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This one occurred over the Ocean in the middle of a beautiful sunset.

Everyone had stopped what they were doing and had come outside.

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They represent very strong wind shear between the bases and tops of the clouds.