Omega Sunrise Over Catania, Italy

September 30, 2021


Photographer: Rosario Catania

Summary Author: Rosario Catania; Cadan Cummings

Shown above is a beautiful photo of a summer sunrise taken near Catania, Sicily, Italy in 1990. The photo features the omega effect of the Sun, which is an inferior mirage phenomenon created when a layer of warm air is directly above the sea surface. As sunlight nears the warm air above the ocean surface, it is refracted back upwards to create a mirage. This optical illusion causes the solar disk to appear displaced below its true position in the sky and makes the Sun appear like a Greek letter omega Ω (or an Etruscan Vase).  The photo was taken using the bracketed exposure technique with a Pentax Z1P camera. The wide-field image portrays one of the many landings of migrants who cross the Sicilian Channel to reach the coast. You can also see the silhouette of a weigher on the shoreline. Always take proper precautions when viewing and photographing the Sun.

Photo Details: Pentax Z1P camera with manual focus zoom, flexible shuttle, and Kodachrome 64 film

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