The Needles off the Isle of Wight and Glitter

June 16, 2011

The Needles_Medium (3) 
Photographer: Greg Parker
Summary Author: Greg Parker; Jim Foster

The photo above showing silhouetted rock outcrops off the Isle of Wight and a silver sea was taken on November 10, 2010. These chalk outcrops are referred to as “The Needles”. Though a misnomer today, the term “Needles” was evidently derived from a tapered rock pinnacle, nearby the present more stump-like structures, that collapsed into the sea several hundred years ago. Note the lighthouse clinging to the base of the westernmost outcrop (right).

Since the Sun was fairly high in the sky when this photo was snapped there’s no glitter path, as can occur when the Sun or Moon lies close to the horizon. Instead, all of Alum Bay is a bright patch of reflected sunlight – each wavelet reflecting a miniature image of the solar disk.

Photo details: Canon 5D MkII camera; 100-400mm zoom lens. Photo snapped from the beachfront at Milford on Sea, England at about 11:00 a.m.