Glories - My Pictures
A glory is a circular disc or ring of light seen at the antisolar point when looking downwards either from an aircraft or a mountain towards cloud or fog. The shadow of the observer appears at the centre of the disc and there are usually coloured fringes resembling those seen in a rainbow. It appears that droplets of liquid water are required and that ice crystals (which make up many types of cloud) do not produce glories.
These pictures were taken over the North Atlantic on 21st April 2001. The glory appears in the lower left of the pictures. The glory is much more visible by eye from the aircraft than in the photographs. I have tried to enhance the visibilty by using software and what you see here is the best I can get.
The most interesting feature is that the angular diameter of the glory is not fixed (all pictures were taken with the same lens and are shown to the same scale).
Click on any of the pictures below for a larger version.
The contrail from the aircraft I was in can be seen ending in the centre of the glory.
The straight horizontal lines are the shadows of contrails of other aircraft flying on the same route.
Read my review and discussion of the physics of the phenomenon (with links).
More pictures from around the Web.
Last updated: 20 March 2002; © Lawrence Mayes, 2001