One photo, seven atmospheric phenomena
December 5, 2018 9:19 PM   Subscribe

 
Technically, you have to stop skiing to take a photo like that.
posted by hippybear at 9:25 PM on December 5 [5 favorites]


Reminds me of this magic (SLYT)
posted by sprezzy at 9:42 PM on December 5 [4 favorites]


Halo. Parhelic Circle. Sundog. Parry Arc. Upper Tangent Arc. Sun pillar. Crepuscular rays.

I feel as if I'm looking at the track listing of any random ambient house album from the early '90s.
posted by mykescipark at 9:47 PM on December 5 [52 favorites]


I was just coming to post this. One minor change, though. My title would have been "What does it mean?!"
posted by Literaryhero at 10:49 PM on December 5 [6 favorites]


Mother Nature must have liked it, because she put five rings on it!


Worst lede evar.
posted by chavenet at 11:16 PM on December 5 [11 favorites]


Beautiful shot, and interesting story.

The spectacle was first witnessed by William Edward Parry on April 8, 1820, during a naval quest to find the Northwest Passage.

Surely described, documented, or classified? /pedant
posted by St. Oops at 11:49 PM on December 5 [11 favorites]


Pretty awesome shot. I would've loved to have been up there with my camera when it happened.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:23 AM on December 6


I love this sort of stuff, although I live too far south to see a lot of it. I have long been familiar with sundogs and sometimes noticed a halo, especially around the moon, but didn’t know much about the optics behind them. This post really taught me a lot, but the main link is now gone; fortunately an updated link was posted here and still works. Lots of interesting stuff there.

Helpful hint: if you see a sundog, take a second to look straight up and you will often see a circumzenithal arc; these can be really bright and colorful, yet you will notice everyone else around you is walking around oblivious to the beauty above their heads.
posted by TedW at 3:10 AM on December 6 [6 favorites]


If you are into this sort of thing, you will very much enjoy Minnaert's Light and Color in the Outdoors, which I first learned about through this MetaFilter post from 10 years ago.
posted by oulipian at 4:54 AM on December 6 [5 favorites]


Halo. Parhelic Circle. Sundog. Parry Arc. Upper Tangent Arc. Sun pillar. Crepuscular rays.

I feel as if I'm looking at the track listing of any random ambient house album from the early '90s.


I did use "Crepuscular Rays" as a title.

(Scribbles "Parhelic Circle" and "Sun Pillar")
posted by Foosnark at 5:07 AM on December 6 [3 favorites]


Wonderful picture, and a great job of Atmospheric Science 101 by the WaPo. Seriously! I appreciate it when there's a bit of an explainer without being condescending. I learned something cool today.
posted by Elly Vortex at 5:27 AM on December 6 [1 favorite]


I feel as if I'm looking at the track listing of any random ambient house album from the early '90s.

Take a memo! Idea for ambient band name: The Sundog Millionaires
posted by thelonius at 5:38 AM on December 6 [1 favorite]


I love seeing precuscular crepuscular rays. When I was little I called them 'God speaking to Moses'. "Look, there's God speaking to Moses over there!" The Ten Commandments was a very popular film in Nigeria when I was young.

I've seen halos, parhelic arcs, parhelia (?) sun pillars and the fan shaped light thing above the sun, though I'm a little confused at the difference between Parry Arc and upper tangent arc and sun cave as labelled in the article. I love seeing them, for both Sun and Moon, they are ethereal, literally?
posted by glasseyes at 6:14 AM on December 6 [5 favorites]


I first read about this sort of thing while procrastinating in college. Started reading a book review of an update to Minnaert that included photos. Got the book. Got the Minnaert book.

Now I run into things a lot while walking outside looking up at sundogs, arcs, etc...
posted by notsnot at 6:40 AM on December 6 [1 favorite]


Every time I see these I think of the creator looking down and noticing them for the first time and shrugging while thinking to his/her self:

"Meh, I'll call it a feature instead of a bug."
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:03 AM on December 6


What must ancient peoples have thought of these kinds of phenomena?

Surely something divine, an incredible portent, or even a divine commentary on their way of life.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 7:58 AM on December 6


The way that ice crystals have to be aligned for some of these to happen reminds me of tempering chocolate. Shiny and ringy, shiny and snappy, same thing!
posted by batter_my_heart at 8:28 AM on December 6


I didn't know that 'god rays' were called crepuscular rays. crepuscular is one of my favorite words!!!
posted by supermedusa at 8:59 AM on December 6


I'm not religious, but I sometimes feel like maybe I could be when I see crepuscular rays. They just seem so divinely created.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:07 AM on December 6


The spectacle was first witnessed by William Edward Parry on April 8, 1820, during a naval quest to find the Northwest Passage.

Surely described, documented, or classified? /pedant


Here's a synopsis of Parry's findings.

Here's Parry's journal for that voyage. (Select the third result — April 8 notes begin at the bottom of that page, and Parry's diagram is on the next page.)
posted by beagle at 9:56 AM on December 6 [1 favorite]




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