Glory Over London
December 30, 2012
Photographer: Rick Scott; Rick's Web site
Summary Authors: Rick Scott; Jim Foster
This photo shows the shadow of a jet aircraft surrounded by a glory as the plane was preparing to land in London, England. Because glories are observed at the antisolar point -- the point opposite the Sun -- only passengers on the side of the aircraft looking away from the Sun can see this phenomenon. If you’re on a plane and are looking into clouds or a fogbank with a strong light source opposite then it's possible to see the shadow of the aircraft (or your own shadow if you’re on a mountain) ringed by a glory. The glory itself consists of colorful concentric rings that result from diffraction of sunlight by minute cloud droplets. When light enters such droplets (approximately 0.0010 – 0.0050 mm in diameter), their small size acts to deflect light more readily than they refract or reflect it. Three complete rings and a few arc sections of a fourth ring are visible here. Note that each successive ring is fainter than the one inside it. Photo taken on October 13, 2012.
Photo details: Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon PowerShot G1 X; Lens: internal 15.1-60.4 mm; Focal Length: 60.4mm; Focus Distance: 64.4m; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0008 s (1/1250); ISO equiv: 200; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure Mode: Manual; White Balance: Manual; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Windows; contrast enhanced.