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Halo Display 9th February 2001

by Gill Smith

I was walking above Ashberry on Friday February 9th, just opposite Rievaulx Abbey, when I happened to look up at the sky to see the most amazing display of haloes and sun-dogs I have ever seen. In addition to the common 22 halo and sun-dogs there was a practically complete outer 46 halo which was very brightly coloured (like an inside-out rainbow) together with some more unusual arcs which I have since discovered were a circum-zenithal arc, an upper tangent arc and a rare Parry arc, and a white, not coloured, parhelic circle.

Unfortunately I did not have a good camera with me, but I managed a couple of shots:

view of haloes

This picture shows the top of the inner halo at the bottom of the picture, with the upper tangent arc and the Parry arc in the middle and the circum-zenithal arc at the top.

view of upper arc

This photo shows the top of the outer halo and the brightly coloured circum-zenithal arc curving back upwards.

If you are interested in exploring this further there is a fascinating site at written by Les Cowley. He has a program (which you can download) to simulate haloes, and has produced this wonderful diagram. He has pages on other haloes, rainbows and other interesting sky phenomena on his site.


© Ryedale Natural History Society 2001

You might also be interested in my impression of the 1999 total solar eclipse, which I was lucky enough to observe in Austria.

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