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Ghostly Fogbow over the Arctic Ocean

A fogbow photographed Aug.17 aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the Arctic Ocean. (Matthew Cappucci)

Ghostly Fogbow over the Arctic Ocean

Julie Raymond-Yakoubian (Member 24,422), got in touch to tell us about a video in which the Washington Post journalist, Matthew Cappucci, spotted a fogbow aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the Arctic Ocean.

Cappucci spots the fogbow and also the optical effect known as a “Glory” around his shadow at the centre. But there is a third optical effect that he seems to have missed. This is a ‘reflection fogbow’. You can see this in the photographs more than the video. It is an upturned arc of light appearing within the fogbow and intersecting, at the centre of the fogbow, the journalist’s shadow. A reflection fogbow forms in the same way as a normal one with the one difference that the sunlight being scattered and defracted by the tiny droplets of fog has come not directly from the sun but after reflecting off the surface of the sea. Since the light originates at a different angle, the position of the fogbow is shifted upwards and only the bottom arc appears.

You can see the article and Matthew Cappucci’s video here

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