In December 2006, some very prominent inversions formed in Germany. On two days mirages were observed along these inversion layers.
In the morning of December 15, 2006, Rüdiger Manig could see the miraged Fichtelgebirge from the weather station at Neuhaus am Rennweg in Thuringia, which was situated directly above a sea of clouds when he made his observation. The distance between the Fichtelgebirge and Neuhaus am Rennweg is about 70 km. The photograph shows Mt Schneeberg (1053 m) on the left and Mt Ochsenkopf (1023 m) on the right.
On December 23, 2006, Stephan Rubach saw the Alps main ridge in a distance of more than a hundred km from Mt Grosser Arber (1456 m) in the Bavarian Forest. Also he stood above a sea of clouds when making his observation, and the layers of air of differnent temperatures let the peaks of the Alps grow upwards in an abstractly distorted way.
The image was taken by Timo Kuhmonen at last weekend, on Saturday 10th February 2007. Place is near to Helsinki / Finland (Lauttasaari).
Timo was outside on that day hiking and taking some winter weekend photos. He had seen the mirage above frozen sea, distant island was “floating” on the air.
Temperature on that morning at his house in Espoo was -20°C. At the place where photo was taken, temperature was higher. Propably there has been enough of temperature differences in the air layers to produce this “winter mirage”.
October 13th 2006 was a sunny and very warm autumn day, which we wanted to spend on a hike at the Königssee. However, we did not get very far because the scene over the very cold, deeply shielded mountain lake was entrancing. Ships flew over the water, islands floated in the air and aliens over the lake were hunted. It was really fascinating to pursue the fast changing mirages.
Author: Claudia Hinz, Brannenburg, Germany
On June 11, 2006, Thorsten Falke and his girlfriend Bärbel Wichmann decided to have a picnic at the south-beach of Düne, a one square kilometer little island in the North Sea and in the neighbourhood of Helgoland.
Even though the picnic basket contained several tasty titbits the sky was even more tempting with its unusual mirages. Ships passing Heligoland and Düne at a distance of 10 km or more appeared somehow “stretched”. They looked longer than they really were.
Thorsten and Bärbel are still wondering how this effect come about. The sun was shining the whole day and because there was almost no wind, a warm air layer probably lay above the water surface. They suggest that when a ship is on a course of 45° (for example) towards or away from the observer, the bow of the ship is closer/further to the observer than the stern. This, combined with the warm air layer, may cause the unusual extension/or sometimes shortening of the ship.
The two images are 15s apart. More mirage images here.
[Text: Thorsten Falke & Bärbel Wichmann]