February - halos You are here: Home Photo gallery Atmospheric optics

Atmospheric optics is a collective name for everything having to do with light and color in the atmosphere, which includes subjects on the ground. Of all this, everybody knows the rainbow; other examples are the sunset colors, the flattening of the low sun, the occasional solar rays, and the light curtains of Aurora. But there is a vast number of phenomena which you may or may not have heard of. This gallery contains photos of a number of them. If you ever saw something strange in the sky and wondered what it was, chances are that you'll find the answer here.

Unlinked galleries are being worked on and will be available soon.

Note: some galleries may be empty or contain broken links to photos. I am still in the process of adding new galleries and photos.

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Ice crystal halos Expand only this category
120o parhelia
18o halo
18o parhelia
20o halo
22o halo
22o parhelia
23o parhelion
24o halo
46o halo
9o halo
9o parhelion
Circumhorizon arc
Circumscribed halo
Circumzenith arc
Infralateral arcs
Light pillar
Lowitz arcs
Parhelic circle
Parry arcs
Supralateral arc
Wegener arcs

Light in water droplets Expand only this category
Alexander's dark band
Brocken spectre
Cloud bow
Dew bow
Dew heiligenschein
Fog bow
Primary rainbow
Secondary rainbow
Supernumerary rainbows

Sunrise and sunset Expand only this category
High-level cloud coloring
Low-level cloud coloring
Mid-level cloud coloring
Precipitation colors

Twilight phenomena Expand only this category
Anticrepuscular rays
Belt of Venus
Crepuscular rays
Purple red
Twilight arch
Twilight wedge

Light scattering Expand only this category
Antisolar rays
Rayleigh scattering
Reddening at horizon
Silver linings
Solar rays

Diffraction phenomena Expand only this category
Antisolar iridescence

Atmospheric refraction Expand only this category
Distortion of sun & moon
Flattening of sun and moon
Green flash
Inferior mirages (land)
Inferior mirages (road)
Inferior mirages (water)
Red flash
Superior mirages

Reflection phenomena Expand only this category
Glitter path
Water reflections

Various phenomena Expand only this category
Mach bands
Sky polarization

Featured galleries

Select a photo gallery from the list below to view photos, or select a different subcategory.

Glitter path

Water reflections