Distorted Sun Observed from Langeoog, Germany

December 04, 2018

Oliver_1011926-3k (3)

Photographer: Oliver Stiehler 
Summary Authors: Oliver Stiehler; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a distorted sunrise as observed from the island of Langeoog in northern Germany. It was captured from a bird watching hut on the island using a 360 mm telephoto lens. As a bonus, a fishing boat cruised by at just the right moment. Note also the wind turbine in the distance, in front of the solar disk some 15 mi (24 km) away on the mainland.

The Sun appears distorted when it's close to the horizon. Because the lower limb of the Sun is further from the zenith (highest point in the sky) than is the upper limb, refraction of sunlight acts to lifts it a bit more, so the solar disk looks flattened. 

Photo Details: Camera: LEICA C-Lux; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS3 Windows; Exposure Time: 0.0080s (1/125); Aperture: ƒ/6.4; ISO equivalent: 250; Focal Length (35mm): 360. Taken at 8:04 a.m.