Omega Sun Observed from Catania, Italy

November 03, 2013


Photographer: Giuseppe Pappa 
Summary Authors: Giuseppe Pappa; Jim Foster

The sequence above shows the rising, pastel-colored Sun (from top to bottom) as observed near Catania, Sicily, on August 18, 2013. As it emerged from the horizon, it took the shape of an Etruscan Vase (top 3 images), forming the Greek letter omega. What we're actually seeing is an inferior mirage -- the Sun's inverted image is below its true position. This type of mirage results when a layer of very warm air is positioned just above the cooler sea surface. Always protect your eyes when looking toward the Sun.