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Category Archives: Atmospheric optics

Smoky skies bring amazing sunsets

At the lake by slitherjef
At the lake, a photo by slitherjef on Flickr.

Right now and for the past couple days sunsets and even sun rises have been red here in the Denver area. These colors are due to smoke from out of state fires being blown in by the wind.

If you are in the Colorado area, give a look at the skies during sunset or sunrise. If things are just right, the colors are amazing.

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Partial 22° halo and CZA

Partial 22° halo and CZA by slitherjef
Partial 22° halo and CZA, a photo by slitherjef on Flickr.

On my way home from work tonight I took notice of a partial 22° halo around the sun. When I got home I decided to go ahead and shoot the incomplete halo, thinking the rays would be a nice effect as well.

Well, I got a couple shots off and seen a little bar of color near the zenith (strait up). The sun is pretty low about 90 minutes or so from sunset. Which could be why the circumzenithal arc (near the top of the frame, pink on the bottom and light blue on the top) above the halo is so dim and small.

One other possibility is the arc is part of a much larger halo, the 46° halo, but those are rare and huge.

While this is far from the best example of a circumzenithal arc or “CZA” this is one of the best ones I have managed to photograph. I did kind of push the processing on this photo a bit to help bring out some details. A circular polarizer was also used

Here is a link about solar altitude and the brightness of CZAs: http://www.atoptics.co.uk/halo/czasalt.htm

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Atmospheric optics, Photos, Weather

 

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