Brocken Spectre and Glory from Chania, Crete

January 10, 2014


Photographer: Antreas Meladakis
Summary Authors: Antreas Meladakis; Jim Foster

The photo above showing a Brocken spectre and glory was captured near Chania, Crete, late in the day on October 8, 2013. If you're ever feeling a bit down, take a hike in a hilly or mountainous region and position yourself so that you're looking down into a valley with the Sun at your back -- and hope for fog. If your timing is right, a glorious ring, or perhaps multiple rings, will form around your head.

The glory is the arrangement of colorful rings; whereas the Brocken specter is your shadow projected through the minute droplets. These phenomena aren't easy to explain. While diffraction of sunlight comes into play, the scattering of sunlight by uniform spheres approximately the same size as the wavelength of light (Mie scattering) seems to provides a more satisfactory explanation.

Photo details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 60D; Lens: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II; Focal Length: 18mm; Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125); ISO equiv: 100.