2006. november 21., kedd

Halo phenomena at 09/12/2006 in Mongolia

Richard Löwenherz made a cycle tour across Mongolia and while in Bajantes he witnessed a wonderful halo display. Up to 15 different types of halo (here the German halo key) were simultaneously visible. Unfortunately there are no photos because on the 10th day of the 6-week cycle tour the camera failed. However, I think, the sketch give a no less beautiful impression of the multiplicity of the kinds of halo which he could all see with the naked eye! Apart from this spectacular event, hardly any other halos were seen in Mongolia.

2006. november 13., hétfő

Lunar display in Switzerland

On Nov/11/2006 I observed a nice high moon halo display in Switzerland. Visible was a bright circumscribed halo and a infralateral or circumhorizon arc.

2006. november 8., szerda

Lunar Diamond Dust Display in Pälkäne, Finland

In the evening of 4 November this lunar display graced the sky soon after sunset. Among the halo forms observed are the rare heliac arc, Tape arcs and Moilanen arc. The Moon elevation is ca. 16°.

In the image the entire length of the heliac arc is visible as a beautiful loop encircling the zenith. The Moilanen arc is very intensive and appears to extend beyond the 22 degree halo. Tape arcs can be seen as diffuse brightenings on the supralateral arc.

In the beams of the passing cars a bright pillar, parhelia, upper tangent arc and Moilanen arc were clearly visible. These proved difficult to photograph though. At the local ski resort the snow guns were operating during the display and the crystal swarm was a by-product of this activity. The temperature was below -15 °C.

Diamond dust display in Jämsä

To fill the weekend of diamond dust halos in Finland, Simo Romo sent photographs of a display that was seen on sunday 5. November in Jämsä. The location is not far from Himos ski center where previous night and day Mika Aho photographed good displays, so it's probable that this one also originated from snow machines.

In addition to photographed halos there was also something else to be seen: "I was heading east and in the north-easten sky there was as if a brighter column of fog. Probably it was part of the phenomenon", writes Simo. Most likely he was looking at a diffuse anthelic arc.

The upper photograph is a panorama made of several individual images. The process has not been completely successful and that's why on the left side of upper tangent arc is an artefact.

2006. november 6., hétfő

Lunar display in France with 9° halo and Lowitz arcs

On the evening of 30 October 2006, I saw this lunar display in the west of France, close to Nantes. The photos were taken between 18h and 21h UT, the moon elevation was between 19 and 24 degrees.

A lot of halos were visible, including 9° halo, upper and lower Lowitz arc and a bright upper suncave Parry arc.

The orange colour of the sky is due to a strong light pollution. The images have been processed to reduce this effect and unsharp mask has been applied to enhance the halos. I got also nice displays the 2 previous days.

More images of the display here: 1, 2, 3.

Diamond dust from Himos snow guns

Mika Aho was also on the halo move on Saturday 4. November. He headed for the Himos ski centre, where some 30 snow guns were operational. The trip was worthwhile. From skiing flanks spread an ice crystal cloud that, even though a bit unclean in appearance, presented some of the rarest halos.

These rare halos are best shown in the photo on the left where several white arcs are seen crossing the sky. Wegener, helic, subhelic, subanthelic and Tricker arcs are all present. Outside Antarctica subanthelic arc has been observed reliably only twice before, both times in Finland. Now Aho's photos add the third observation.

More of the display is to be found here. Like Oksanen, also Aho got halos in moonlight the following night. These photos are under the same link.

Diamond dust from Riihivuori snow guns

Towards the last weekend tension was rising among Finnish halo observers. It was going to be clear skies with sinking temperatures and full moon. Most of the ski centers had their snow guns running, so anticipation for diamond dust was high.

On Saturday, 4 November, Arto Oksanen drove to check the sitation at Riihivuori ski center. There was indeed a column crystal dominated display with upper sunvex Parry, as shown in the photo on the left.

Next night Arto did not have to go anywhere, since wind carried the ice clouds straight to his doorsteps, to Muurame town. It was Parry-time again, and now in addition to normal upper suncave there was also the much less commonly seen lower sunvex Parry (photo on the right). Untill the last winter the latter has been considered as an extreme rarity, but now reports have increased, thanks mainly to ski centers' snow guns and active observers around them. The display contained also other halos of interest, like Wegener anthelic arc and anthelion. See also Juha Oksa photos from Muurame the same night.

2006. november 3., péntek

Diamond dust season opened in Finland

On October 26 the pupils of the Särkijärvi school near the small northern Finland town of Muonio stopped suddenly their indoor activities and rushed out - somebody had noticed a halo wonder in the sky.

At the school were also excursionists from University of Lapland. Among them, Päivi Linnansaari happened to have a camera handy and took several photos of which a selection is presented here.

The display had all the basic flavourings of a great diamond dust display, including the helic arc, circular Lowitz arc and diffuse anthelic arc - the latter of which is seen faintly in the lower left image. But then there is also a new halo: the 46° contact arcs. Theoretically it has been known for quite a while, but no convincing photographs have come up untill now. The halo shows up in the upper right image as three arcs below the circumzenith arc. Probably a comparison with simulation is needed to get a proper grip of it.

The halo display made it also to local newspaper. Couple of kilometres from the location there is a ski center, so the halos may likely have originated from snow guns.

2006. november 1., szerda

High sun halo display in Bolivia

Louise Emmons sent these two photos of a halo display seen on 9 October, in Noel Kempff national Park North-Eastern Bolivia. The halos are a bright circumscribed halo, a probable 46° infralateral arc and parhelic circle.

"It was one of the most amazing phenomena that I have seen in my life, together with a total solar eclipse with ground waves and an immense fireball", writes Emmons.

The display lasted at least for half an hour. In about 6-8 h it was followed by a strong rain front.

Rare halos in Czech rep. Oct. 30 and 31

On October 30 in Prague was observed rare halos. Stepanka Kosova had Lowitz arcs and 120 deg. parhelia (title photo). Lukas Shrbeny had nice 120 deg. parhelia too. I observed rare halos in two last days. On October 30 I saw: 9°, 20° halos and Parry suncave arc. On October 31 I seen: Parry suncave arc , upper and lower Lowitz arcs and probably circular Lowitz arc too. M.Popek and R.Manak seen 9° halos in Lunar displays.