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Halo Meeting of the “Arbeitskreis Meteore e.V. / FG Atmosphärische Erscheinungen der VdS e.V.“ at the Sudelfeld (Upper Bavaria), January 08 – 10, 2010

Winter halos in nearby ice crystals are quite a rare sighting in most parts of Germany. However, there are few special places where the chances for such displays are much higher, such as the Alps mountains. To benefit from this, 14 halo enthusiasts met at the Sudelfeld Youth hostel near Bayrischzell in the vicinity of the Wendelstein (1838 m) during the second weekend of January. Already on Thursday (January 07) a very impressive halo phenomenon at the sun could be observed by Reinhard Nitze. Unfortunately, throughout the meeting a complete cover of low-level clouds blocked the sun so that halo observations were restricted to artificial light sources during night time. The highest halo activity was noticed at late Friday evening, involving light pillars (or superlamps), upper and lower 22° tangent arcs (“champagne glasses”), parhelic circles (visible for only few seconds), and superparhelia (not photographed due to fleeting appearance). The phenomena showed remarkable dynamics, lasting for about 10 minutes and being followed by intervals of 30-60 minutes without halos. The influence of snow blowers was discussed as well, since there were some of them running the whole night, approximately 500 m apart from the observation place.

During the second evening only weak light pillars were seen for short times, eventually being replaced by fog bows due to rising temperatures and the transition from ice crystal to water droplet fog. Great fun were the shadow plays using a floodlight in the back of the people what finally led to photos of the “Sudelfeld monster”.Apart from the actual observations, the participants joined a workshop program containing slideshows from Michael Großmann, Claudia Hinz, Reinhard Nitze, and Andreas Zeiske as well as talks dedicated to special topics such as halo image stacking by Georg Dittié, high dynamic range image processing by Claudia Hinz, high precision measurements of the moon’s opposition effect by Elmar Schmidt, microphotography of snow and ice crystals by Reinhard Nitze, and artificial dew bows as well as stereo photography by Alexander Haußmann. The following experimental demonstration of glass bead bows in divergent light was received with great interest and triggered a high amount of photographic activity. Furthermore, an excursion to the nearby Tatzlwurm waterfall (named after some kind of dragon) was organized at Saturday afternoon and revealed a great winter landscape containing a large number of worthwhile photo subjects.

More pictures are here.

Author: Alexander Haußmann, Hörlitz, Germany

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Effects in cloud bows caused by perspective

In the morning of December 12, 2008, I coud observe a cloud bow on a stratocumulus layer, which was kind of perspectively cracked. Due to the ruggedness of the cloud surface it seemed as if there was a deep horizontal notch on the left side of the cloud bow.

But also this moonlight cloud bow, taken on September 9, 2008, seems to have vertical indentations and also an elliptical shape caused by the horizontal projection upon an uneven surface.

Günther Können and I have written also an article to this topic.

Author: Claudia Hinz, Brannenburg, Germany

Perspectively broken shadow

When there are swelling cloud parts on the surface of an unbroken cloud cover, it sometimes can happen that the shadow of a pole projected onto this cloud cover appears kind of broken. I could observe such a shadow broken perspectively on August 18, 2007, at 18.15 hours CET on the top of Mt. Wendelstein (1835m), when the shadow of the transmitting aerial of the Bavaria Broadcast fell upon such a cloud cover, surrounded by a glory which appeared three-dimensional.

Author: Claudia Hinz, Brannenburg, Germany

Artificial Spectre in Brocken Mountains

This artificial Spectre of Brocken with fogbow was taken April 14, 2003 in the Brocken Mountains in central Germany. A helium lamp, positioned behind the photographer, was used to illuminate this very thick fog layer – the visibilty was less than about 5 m. The great size of the Brocken Spectre results from the shadow not lying in one plane but rather extending over a depth of several metres.

Spooky greetings from the ghost heaven!!!

[Posted by Claudia Hinz]

Brocken Spectre in sea fog

On March 24th 2005, Thorsten Gaulke was sailing homeward bound from Oslo to Kiel on a scarcely four month old ship called “Color Fantasy”. The ship entered an area of sea fog no higher than the ship formed by the cooling effect of the cold Baltic waters. With the sun to his back he was able to observe his Brocken Spectre surrounded by a bright glory. There is a trace of a much large glory-like phenomenon that might have resulted from much smaller droplets. Alternatively it could be a fragment of an inner supernumerary of the surrounding fogbow.

Bright Fogbow with serveral supernumerary arcs

On October 3, 2005, on the Wendelstein mountain (1834 m) a very bright fogbow with several supernumerary arcs appeared during the partial solar eclipse. In the centre of the fogbow there also appeared the spectre of the Brocken in variable intensity and size, according to the distance to the clouds. The spectre was also surrounded by a bright glory. Using a polarization filter, Carolin Baumann made this impressive photograph.