A Different View of the Fogbow, Brocken Spectre and Glory

August 02, 2023


Photographer: Marco Meniero  

Summary Author: Marco Meniero

Shown above are three consecutive pictures taken from the roof of the Control Tower of Viterbo Airport, Italy. In the photos you can see a 360-degree fogbow, the Brocken Spectre and the glory. The photos illustrate the position of these optical phenomena with respect to the sky and with respect to the position of the Sun. To see them you must be facing opposite of the Sun –- toward the antisolar point.

The fogbow is sometimes called a fog arc or a white rainbow. It’s a phenomenon similar to a rainbow. Due to the very small size of the water droplets that cause the fog, less than 0.05 millimeters (0.0020 inches), the fog arc has only very faint colors, with a red outer edge and a bluish inner edge. Colors fade due to the diffraction effect of the smallest droplets.

Many think that the glory and the specter are the same phenomenon, but that's not the case. They’re two different and distinct phenomena: The specter is simply the shadow of the observer, while the glory is composed of the halo and the concentric rings visible within it.

Photo details: Nikon Z9 camera; fisheye lens 8-15 at 8 mm; f/10; 1/400 second exposure; 125 ISO


Tower of Viterbo Airport, Italy Coordinates: 42.43611112.061667

Related Links:

Brocken Spectre and Glory Observed from Viterbo Airport, Italy