Friday, June 25, 2010

Solstice parhelion

On the evening of the summer solstice, Chilbolton Observatory was treated with the lovely spectacle of a parhelion. Parhelia (also known as "mock suns" or "sun dogs") are patches of light that appear 22 degrees to either side of the sun. The effect is caused by ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. The parhelion can be seen at the same altitude as the sun, near the right-hand edge of the image. The photograph, which sadly does not do the sight justice, was taken at 20:35 local time looking over the Observatory Test Range.

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