Monday, December 1, 2014

Look, Up In The Sky ...

I'm in the habit of looking up. And sometimes I see things like this.

If you look closely you can see two "V" shaped rainbow-ish looking things in this image.

They are two "arcs" that result when sunlight passes through ice crystals. The crystals act like prisms, refracting the light. The shapes of the arcs are also dependent on the crystals.

The lower "V" is an Upper Tangent Arc. This is a relatively common phenomena that I've had the pleasure to observe on a number of occasions. As I noted I like to look up. And as a wise man once said, you can see a lot just by looking.*

The upper "V" is called a Sunvex Parry Arc. And I don't know that I've ever seen one before. And I've certainly never photographed one.

You can learn more about such arcs, and other atmospherics at the wonderful Atmospheric Optics site along with the OPOD. Click either link and enjoy your visit.

* Yogi Berra

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