Sunday, May 18, 2014

From the Air

I'm fortunate in that I get to travel on a fairly regular basis for both work and pleasure. And as is my custom I look for a window seat, preferably away form the wings. And so it was on our trip back from Costa Rica. And I managed to snap a few pictures ...

Including these:

My first ever good shots of a glory. I had seen glories a couple times before, but I either had no camera handy or only my cellphone. This time I was prepared and rewarded.

At the same time there was a rainbow a bit further back over the engine (I wasn't quite far enough away from the wing for my liking, but at least I wasn't completely blocked).

I also saw some wildfires, like this one in Florida.

Curiously for an astronomy enthusiast, I'm a fan of clouds. I've always imagined them as fantastical landscapes that I'd love to explore.

I'm even a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society.

And that's where I turned to for an explanation of what's going on in this photo.

The effect is subtle and difficult to photograph. And something I don't believe I had ever seen (or noticed) before. If you look under the clouds you can see a foggy patch.

Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the afore mentioned Cloud Appreciation Society, was kind enough to look at my image to try and figure out what I was seeing. He wrote, " I don't think this is a cloud effect.  It looks to me as if the white blurs below the clouds are reflections of the white parts of the cloud on the water's surface.  If the sun was behind you it would make sense that it could bounce off the clouds down to the sea and back to your vision."

And that's the best answer so far as to what this is. If you've any insight into what's going on please let me know in the comments.

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