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Thread: Interesting atmospheric phenomena

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Interesting atmospheric phenomena

    While driving to work yesterday morning in the vicinity of Spartanburg SC, I noticed a peculiar event connected with the sunrise. After a time it became so pronounced I pulled over to the side the road to photograph it. The unenhanced photos are attached.

    Before the Sun crested the distant hills, it seemed a spotlight arose from the place where the Sun would appear. The spotlight was very clear, high, and narrow, about the width of the Sun after it rose.

    Someone might be able to tinker with the photos to make the spotlight stand out a little better. It was not the sunlight breaking through a hole in the clouds, but might have been sunlight reflecting off ice crystals or something like that.

    Quite amazing to see. The second photo shows it better. I was wondering if there was a name for that effect.

    LATER ADDS: In the photos, especially the second, you can see the light pillar more clearly if you look to the right or left of the sunrise. The pillar becomes very distinct at that point.

    .
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Roger E. Moore; 2019-Apr-30 at 01:57 PM. Reason: adds
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  2. #2
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    A light pillar, I think it was. Some photos in the Wikipedia article look just like it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_pillar
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  3. #3
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    My favorite atmospheric phenomena are sun dogs, followed by lunar halos. I've posted about both of these elsewhere in this forum. My wife spotted a beautiful lunar halo I wasn't even aware of, as I was trying to see a tiny comet (never saw it).
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    A light pillar, I think it was. Some photos in the Wikipedia article look just like it.
    This doesn't help much but I tried....
    Roger sun pillar.jpg
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    This doesn't help much but I tried....
    Roger sun pillar.jpg
    Actually, you can see the thicker part of the light pillar base. Yeah, that worked.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    A light pillar, I think it was. Some photos in the Wikipedia article look just like it.
    A sun pillar is absolutely my thought (sun pillar is just the name for a light pillar when the light source happens to be the sun).
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  7. #7
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    Links to pictures I posted in the weather folder on sundogs seen in upstate SC, last fall, 2018

    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...14#post2462714

    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...17#post2462717

    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...32#post2467232

    You could count this as astronomy, in a way. I'm on a planet looking at atmospheric effects created by a nearby star. There we go.

    .
    Last edited by Roger E. Moore; 2019-Apr-30 at 04:24 PM. Reason: fixes
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  8. #8
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    Found a photograph my wife took from our driveway of a large lunar halo late last year, I am guessing around Thanksgiving. Not sure of the time, moon was about full.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  9. #9
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    Nice. Always have liked sun pillars, halos, sun dogs, and similar things.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    This doesn't help much but I tried....
    Roger sun pillar.jpg
    That almost looks like an atomic test.

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    Tried darkening it, a few other things... looks about the same as previous attempt. At least the sun pillar stands out nicely.

    I never knew sun pillars existed until I actually saw it.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Found a photograph my wife took from our driveway of a large lunar halo late last year, I am guessing around Thanksgiving. Not sure of the time, moon was about full.
    There was a full moon on November 23, the day after American Thanksgiving.

    Sunset, there and then was 5:17PM. Hard to tell the angle of the sun without horizon but since it looks like it's over the treetops it could have been 2 or 3 hours previous.
    (Assuming it's a sunset, that is. Sunrise was 7:03AM).

  13. #13
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    By the way, I consider this site, Atmospheric Optics, to be one of the definitive sites on this kind of stuff and a great reference. They even have software, called HaloSim, that you can download for free, that allows you to model these things.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    By the way, I consider this site, Atmospheric Optics, to be one of the definitive sites on this kind of stuff and a great reference. They even have software, called HaloSim, that you can download for free, that allows you to model these things.
    I'm sold.

    BTW just noticed an article on that purple/green "aurora" called STEVE. Anyone ever get a photo of this or see it?

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/...n-steve?tgt=nr
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  15. #15
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    I've never seen a sun (light) pillar at sunrise, but there's no reason why not. I photographed one after sunset in Churchill a few years ago.

    https://lonelybirder.files.wordpress...sun-pillar.jpg

    CJSF
    "Off went his rocket at the speed of light
    Flying so fast there was no day or night
    Messing around with the fabric of time
    He knows who's guilty 'fore there's even a crime

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    The buckskin astronaut
    Davy, Davy Crockett
    There's more than we were taught"

    -They Might Be Giants, "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space)"


    lonelybirder.org

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Tried darkening it, a few other things... looks about the same as previous attempt. At least the sun pillar stands out nicely.
    Speaking of not-so-great images of cool Sun displays, though yours is actually very nice, I offer what should be the worst image of a green flash event, which I took a few weeks ago. I have never seen a green flash but just happened to think about it so I pulled out my camera while a guest at the Elks Lodge in hopes it would happen. I failed to switch to continuous shooting so I caught only the last few milliseconds. A woman shouted she saw the green flash though I didn't see it through my camera, nevertheless....

    _GEO1464 Green Flash comp.jpg
    Last edited by George; 2019-May-01 at 02:31 PM.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  17. #17
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    There is a nice book called Rainbows, Halos and Glories
    https://books.google.com/books/about...d=nF84AAAAIAAJ

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    I saw a quite lovely glory a few years ago from a Washington State Ferry. I think I may have posted a picture here.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    There is a nice book called Rainbows, Halos and Glories
    https://books.google.com/books/about...d=nF84AAAAIAAJ
    I was going to recommend an older book by William Corliss, a collection of strange atmospheric events illustrated nicely with line drawings. Here is the Amazon link; my copy has a different cover. The Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/05...t_bibl_vppi_i2
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  20. #20
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    He did i9nteresting handbooks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    He did i9nteresting handbooks.
    I have his books on astronomy and archaeology in addition to the weather one. Weird stuff, worth a look.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  22. #22
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    Smile

    A looooong, almost rainbow-like sundog seen in upstate SC this morning about 7:30 am. My wife took the photos in Mauldin. It was elongated up and down, at one point resembling a large rainbow fragment, off to the right of the rising Sun (seen through cirrus clouds). The orange arrow in the lower right points out the sundog. The reds, oranges, and blues were quite distinct. You can see, a little bit, how elongated the effect was.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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