A multiple display of arcs and halos over Huntsville, Alabama, US. (See comments for full identification details, with thanks to Les Cowley of Atmospheric Optics website for providing them).
© Jane George
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14 comments have been made

  1. Ian Loxley18 Dec 2012

    More information on the arcs and halos displayed can be found here :-


  2. Nienke Lantman, the Netherlands19 Dec 2012

    This is beautiful……!!!
    Thank you!

  3. sachi19 Dec 2012


  4. Mark McCaughrean19 Dec 2012

    That is special, very special. In addition to looking at Les Cowley’s Atmospheric Optics website, as suggested by Ian, you should also think about submitting this as a possible “Optics Picture of the Day” to the same site.

  5. Mark McCaughrean19 Dec 2012

    Just as a follow-up to my own post, there’s a very rare Parry supralateral arc in this image. It’s the slight hook- or V-shaped enhancement in the rainbow-coloured supralateral arc which extends over to the right-side of the image in the upper half, beneath the upside-down circumzenithal arc.

    The Parry supralateral arc is towards the right of the thing white arc which extends from the Sun out to the upper-right of the image: this is the heliac arc.

    All in all, some very rare things in this beautifully captured image: well done!

  6. Les Cowley19 Dec 2012

    Halos around the cirrus fringe of Sandy were exceptional and seen from New England down to Alabama. The Alabama halo displays were outstanding (1) for the rarity and clarity of the halos and (2) that they occurred in high cirrus – usually such fine halos are seen in low level diamond dust and then rarely.

    The bright halos from top to bottom are:
    circumzenithal arc
    supralateral arc
    upper suncave Parry arc
    upper tangent arc
    22 degree halo
    22 degree parhelion (sundog)
    parhelic circle

    The superb rarities are
    (a)helic arc stretching diagonally upeards from left to right
    (b)exceptionally rare Hastings arc from the top of the Parry arc to the right – look carefully!
    (c)rare Wegener arc below the Hastings and parallel to it – not so obvious
    (d)Parry supralateral arc
    (e)a trace of an upper Lowitz arc between the Parrt and upper tangents.

    A truly outstanding – even sublime – display.


  7. Anne Downie, SW Scotland19 Dec 2012

    Wonderful display – how exciting this must have been to see it!

  8. Jane19 Dec 2012

    Thanks everyone! Everything appeared gradually, so it started with the standard 22 degree halo and sundogs, and then the rest started to appear over the next hour or two. It was really something.

  9. Lauren Antanaitis19 Dec 2012

    This is absolutely stunning. Congratulations on a wonderful capture, and thank you so very much for sharing it with us all! What a rare treat to see, I’m sure!!!

  10. Sam Jowett4 Jan 2013

    Absolutely fantastic display and great job of capturing so much of it with the right exposure. I’ve seen displays with 3 or 4 features at once before, but this is something else! Need the right place and the right time for something like this… even those of us watching for them will be lucky to witness a display like this first hand. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  11. Jane4 Jan 2013

    Thanks. I was so worried about everything showing up in the photos, so it was a relief to get them off the camera and see that they were okay.

  12. Moraya7 Jan 2013

    Beautiful and superb shot!!!

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