This is just a short article to share with you some brilliant optical phenomena that we have seen last night!
Someone who has never been to Antarctica might think that it’s all the same: all white snow regardless where you look. The reality is different and it’s all much more varied, although those variations are not the same as when you move between say a mountain range to the sea side, or indeed between a sunny weather, snow, rain and mist.
We do sometimes get pretty awesome shows of weather and yesterday was one example: Sun Halos and Sun Pillars plus some Diamond Dust.
Please note, the above pictures have been somewhat worked on to enhance the phenomena.
What you see in those pictures are:
- the Sun Halo, which is the bright ring around the Sun. This particular one is a 22° halo, which means that if you look straight at the sun, the ring line will be exactly 22° to the left and 22° to the right from the sun (i.e. if you turn keeping your head straight 22° to the left, you would be then looking straight at the halo line). If the conditions are right, you can also sometimes see a 45° halo — not this time though!
- the Sun Pillars — these are the columns of light directly below and above the Sun. The one on the top doesn’t extend very far up, but it’s still there
- Diamond Dust — these are the ice particles carried by wind, which are glittering in the sunlight. You can see them on this pictures as bright dots on the dark parts of the sky.
I know it’s not the same as seeing it live — I’m sorry you’re not as lucky as I am — but still, enjoy the view!