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WOW!!!! One of the BEST Pics I’ve seen in quite some time…. Very, Very Impressive, Mark.
Thanks very much, Bryan; greatly appreciated. The shot sort of made itself, although I did have to scoot down the beach and anticipate the lady’s alignment with the Sun. I tried twice, and luckily the second was just about perfect. Anyway, glad you liked it :-)
Superb Capture Mark !
Thanks, John: clouds were blowing up sporadically over the Jungfraujoch from the Aletsch glacier, and at points where they were thin, there was a nice corona to be seen, albeit rapidly changing as the clouds blew through.
That said, I didn’t quite realise how rare and special a 4-ringed corona is until I did a little checking on Les Cowley’s Atmospheric Optics later on.
It’s incredible ~
Brilliant, Mark. What a unique spectacle to see! Lucky, so lucky, you.
Thanks, Laurence. It was indeed a wonderful sight, but in some sense, the photo slightly overplays it. Not because it has been heavily processed or anything, but simply because in real life, it was a very fleeting spectacle, coming and going rapidly as the wind blew the ragged clouds over the summit. Conversely, the picture allows you to stare at it and soak up the beauty :-)
Given the particular topography of the Jungfraujoch, I’d hazard a guess that such conditions are quite common there and it seems possible that multi-ringed coronae might be seen quite often. So make the trip: it’s well worthwhile in any case :-)
Many thanks, Mark, for the additional information you provided about the taking of your unique photo – I found it most interesting. One day perhaps I may see such an event when I plan to visit the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland next year.
I’ve been up there a few times and have never seen anything like this. Very dense fog, yes; clear, crystalline air, yes; Alpine choughs riding the thermals, yes – so, worth a trip regardless of the weather!
Amazing photo. I’ve been up there a few times and have never seen anything like this. Very dense fog, yes; clear, crystalline air, yes; Alpine choughs riding the thermals, yes – so, worth a trip regardless of the weather!
Thanks, Margret; sounds like I was quite lucky on that day then. Interestingly, I expect that most people up there at the same time didn’t notice it: it’s not the obvious thing to do, looking at the Sun :-)
Indeed, if I recall correctly, I first noticed the corona (which was coming and going quite rapidly) when taking a picture down towards the glacier. The Sun was in the shot, but rather attenuated by the camera optics, making it easy to notice the corona. But once I knew it was there, it was very easy to observe naked-eye as well, blocking the Sun with my hand.
Highly impressive indeed – and what a sight this must have been to behold. Definitely gaze-stopping stuff!
it slightly remembers me of the ninja turtles…well,about :)
Thanks, Lawrence. It was indeed very impressive, not least because it was also moving rapidly towards me and within a couple of minutes after taking this picture, I was in the midst of the accompanying downpour.
Quite literally, in fact: I was actually out on my roadbike at the time after a long ride out towards Utrecht, and had about 25km left to get home at nearly 8pm. With sunset imminent and no lights for my bike (ouch), I had no choice but to cycle right through the middle of this beast, rather than take shelter.
Rain is just wet and within I was soaked, but that’s ok in the grand scheme of things. The roads and paths quickly filled with a lot of standing water which, on a roadbike, was less than ideal. Then there was very strong, gusty wind, also sub-optimal. But the biggest concern was the few strikes of lightning which the storm emitted: in the flatlands of Holland, there’s nowhere to hide.
I survived, along with the picture, but it was all a bit hairy … :-)
Mark, many thanks indeed for all the background information relating to your memorable photo. You certainly showed true grit and dedication in capturing this view for us to share, for sure.
I hope you have managed to dry out now…
Magic sky! Why isn’t this among the favourites?
Greetings from a cloud lover – Henrik Kolden, Norway
Whoops yes added to favourites Henrik…IanL..
If you were a bad parent, this would be perfect for the big bad boogy man, something from which nightmares are/could be made. All that said, it is an awesome formation and I liked the details you gave. Don’t envy you the ride…
Wow, it looks like those fungi that stick out from trees. Phellinus spp.
This is what I like – ever changing drama! One of my real favourites of clouds, and which never fail to enthral me.
Thanks, Laurence. And it just goes to show that you don’t even need to leave your back garden to witness such beauty ;-)
Beautiful!! Like a veil across growing things!
Thanks, Becky. It was a lovely flight, in fact; before rising above the clouds as in this picture, there were a whole series of beautiful layers, alternately sunlit and dark. I may send more of the pictures to CAS, but you can see a few in my flickr photostream, starting at:
Spectacular cloud vista, Mark. One could almost imagine it being a landscape on earth, with a streaming snowy blizzard scouring the mountains of antarctica.
Thanks, Anne & Anthony: I agree, I quite like the impression of wind-blown speed in the cirrus, contrasted with the apparent solidity and steadfastness of the cumulus below.
Well, not quite from the flight deck: I was just a passenger, not flying the plane (on this occasion :-)
Lovely photo of my favourite cloud type. Cheers!
OMG I LOVES CLOUDS
I love this! Don’t think I’ve ever seen cirrus in combination with fallsreak holes.
Thanks, Beate: you can always be counted on for comments on my pictures, even several months after their submission :-) I’ve been quiet of late but have some interesting pictures stacked up in my collection awaiting a bit of Lightroom work, so look out for some new submissions soon, I hope.
Stunning for its rarity as much as its sublime beauty. Only seen by the hawk-eyed amongst us! Has anyone seen the Mammatus far left-centre?
Looks like a sketchy photo to me.
Err, a sketchy photo, Sharon? Sketchy as in “not very good”, or sketchy as in “not really a photo”, or sketchy as in “converted from a photo into a sketch”? :-)
I promise you, it’s a real photo, just contrast-enhanced to bring out the details …
Exquisite texture in this cirrus, Mark.
Looks like overlapping layers, maybe at different heights…?
I think you may be right, Anthony: there appears to be a “lumpier” layer in the top half of the picture, above the much more defined, filamentary layer we were flying through. And in some places, there appears to be perhaps two layers of the filamentary stuff.
Then again, depending on where you look in the picture, it’s not always that clear. Ah well :-)
More information from Mark….
We were out on Christmas Day last year in Park De Paauw in Wassenaar, where I live. I noticed that a contrail was developing some very interesting shapes so started taking pictures. The four in the sequence are separated by the
(image 1 -> image 2), 5 seconds;
(image 2 -> image 3), 25 seconds;
(image 3 -> image 4), 23 seconds.
The two sides of the contrail (from the two sides of the aircraft) come together and pinch off to form rings. Although the first two images are only separated by a small time, you can see this pinch off -> ring happening on the left hand side between the two, so I thought it was nice to include all four images in the sequence.
This is all down to the Crow instability, in which (according to Wikipedia):
* A pair of counter rotating vortices act upon each other to amplify small sinusoidal distortions in their vortex shapes (Normally created by some initial disturbance in the system).
* The waves develop into either symmetric or anti-symmetric modes, depending on the nature of the initial disturbance.
* These distortions grow, both through interaction from one vortex on another, and also ‘Self Induction’ of a vortex with itself. This leads to an exponential growth in the vortex wave amplitude.
*The vortex amplitudes reach a critical value and reconnect, forming a chain of vortex rings.
The underlying thing is the interaction between the wingtip vortices and the contrails, but it seems that you’ll only get to see the instabilities develop into rings under special atmospheric circumstances. There are more pictures on the internet, but this sequence seems to be a textbook example. Indeed, you can even see some very small scale sinusoidal variations in one of the big loops (third from left) in the first two images, which may relate to the first line in the Wikipedia definition.
Wow, I don’t know which is more impressive, the contrail or the explanation….
anyway, it’s certainly a fascinating and unusual photo set – thank you for that, Mark!
Very good. I have a shot of these, too, and now have the correct name for them! Well done.
I have seen these before, but never knew what caused them or what they were called.
Many thanks for the photos and the fantastic info.
Great set of images! Thanks for including the explanation, too – I have also seen something similar before, but never knew what caused the phenomenon.
Thanks all for the very positive comments and also to Ian, who included my “cover note” as the first comment; it wasn’t expected, but seems to have been much appreciated.
Just a couple of minor corrections, though: the park around the corner from my house is called “De Paauw”, with two a’s, not two u’s; apologies to any of my Dutch friends this may have irritated ;-)
And the pinching off I talked about taking place between the first and second pictures is, of course, at the left of the frames, not the right.
Finally, just to be clear, the bulleted explanation was quoted directly from Wikipedia; it’d be interesting to put together a series of diagrams explaining how this happens in visual terms. Even as an (astro)physicist, the words don’t quite cut it for me.
Wonderfully intense colours, Mark! Once again proof of how boring a sky without clouds would be in contrast!
Thanks, Beate: I know I can always count on you :-)
I was beginning to wonder whether this, one of my all-time favourite pictures, was ever going to attract any comments. The colours are completely straight; that’s how it looked on that morning, no processing whatsoever.
this is incredibly lovely.
Incredible shot… Could look at this all day :)