Heiligenschein and Dew

May 24, 2019


Photographer: Marco Meniero
Summary Author: Marco Meniero 

The photo above showing a brightening at the top of the shadow at center was captured from the Viterbo Airport in Italy. The shadow is the observation tower and the luminous patch, at the antisolar point, is called a heiligenschein. Unlike the Brocken Specter and glory, it occurs in the absence of clouds. When dew drops on blades of grass backscatter sunlight, a sharp-eyed observer will note a bright spot about the shadow of their head. This is because spherical dew drops that rest on hairs associated with a leaf's surface act to focus sunlight onto the leaf. Light is scattered in all directions, but some light retraces the journey in reverse. However, the backscattered light is brightest in the direction of the observer. Photo taken on March 13, 2016.

Photo Details: Canon EOS 1DXMk2 camera; Sigma 50Art lens; f/1.4.