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Friday, February 14, 2020

Mind-Blowing Pictures Of Light Halos In The Swiss Alps

Mind-Blowing Pictures Of Light Halos In The Swiss Alps

On his recent visit to the Swiss Alps, amateur blogger Michael Schneider was looking to have a day of fun and adventure, engaging in skiing and other activities. What he didn't expect, however, was to capture something that would go immediately viral. While he was waiting for his friend on the mountain, he took the chance to test out the camera of his new smartphone. The resulting pictures captured beautiful halos around the sun.


What followed on Twitter was a flurry of explanations about why, and how, those rings appear around the sun. A light halo is an optical phenomenon which occurs when light interacts with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. Although we often think of a halo as exclusively circular, they can actually take many different shapes. From arcs to light pillars, some are more common than others.


Several specialists set about annotating Schneider's photo. Mark McCaughrean, Senior Advisor for Science & Exploration at the European Space Agency, used information gathered from the website Atmospheric Optics to create a wonderful annotation of the different halos visible in Schneider's photo. Looking at his diagram, it's incredible to see how many halo examples were captured in one image.


The complete circle formed closest to the sun is what most people simply call a halo. It is actually known as a 22° halo. There are rarer halos in the image, too, such as a Supralateral arc toward the top of the image.


Schneider's experience is a good reminder that even if you do not have professional equipment on hand, it doesn't mean that you can't capture a meaningful photograph. Read more about Schneider's experience on his blog and see more photographs from his time on the mountain below.


Michael Schneider: Website | Twitter


Mind-Blowing Pictures Of Light Halos In The Swiss Alps

Mind-Blowing Pictures Of Light Halos In The Swiss Alps

Mind-Blowing Pictures Of Light Halos In The Swiss Alps

Mind-Blowing Pictures Of Light Halos In The Swiss Alps

Mind-Blowing Pictures Of Light Halos In The Swiss Alps

Mind-Blowing Pictures Of Light Halos In The Swiss Alps

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