Svalbard Fata Morgana

November 22, 2012

Fata MorganaSvalbard 1600x1200 (2)

Photographer: Joan Cubells
Summary Author: Joan Cubells

The photo above shows a Fata Morgana observed near Brasvelbreen Glacier off the southern coast of Nordaustlandet Island (Svalbard Archipelago), Norway. The Fata Morgana is a superior mirage featuring the characteristics of vertical magnification and exaggeration. This attention-getting display lasted for several hours. It was viewed from about 13 ft (4 m) above sea level. The wind was calm and the air temperature was 42 degrees F (6 C). Ice-strewn seas cooled the air in contact with it, forming a temperature inversion; a colder air layer beneath warmer air. When such atmospheric conditions are encountered, upward moving light rays from distant objects are refracted downwards by the different density air layers. To our eyes, the miraged object appears to be floating in the air. The direction of refraction is to curve rays towards denser, colder, air. Photo taken on August 17, 2009.

Photo details: Camera Maker: SONY; Camera Model: DSLR-A900; Lens: DT 18-250 mm; Focal Length: 250.0mm (35mm equivalent: 375mm); Aperture: f/9.0; Exposure Time: 0.0001 s (1/8000); ISO equiv: 1600; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Center Weight; Exposure: shutter priority (semi-auto); White Balance: Auto; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB; Software: Image Data Lightbox SR.