Luminous Light in Alabama
|Image credit and copyright: David Hathaway/NASA/MSFC|
AMAZING ICE HALO DISPLAY: Yesterday, sky watchers around the Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, witnessed something amazing:
A complex network of luminous arcs and rings surrounded the afternoon
sun. "I've never seen anything quite like it," says eyewitness Bill
Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. Solar physicist
David Hathaway snapped this picture of the display:
The apparition is almost certainly connected to hurricane Sandy. The
core of the storm swept well north of Alabama, but Sandy's outer bands
did pass over the area, leaving behind a thin haze of ice crystals in
cirrus clouds. Sunlight shining through the crystals produced an
unusually rich variety of ice halos.
"By my count, there are two sun dogs, a 22o halo, a parahelic circle, an
upper tangent arc, and a parry arc," says Chris Brightwell, who also
photographed the display. "It was amazing."
"Very impressive," agreed onlooker Kyle Winkleman. "This was a once-in-a-decade event for our area."
If the display really was a result of Sandy, sky watchers might not have
to wait a decade for the next show. Some researchers believe that
superstorms will become more common in the years ahead as a result of
climate change, creating new things both terrible and beautiful to see
overhead. Sky watchers in the storm zone should remain alert for the
Thanks to: http://americankabuki.blogspot.com