August - hurricanes 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.

Collapse all

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
Anthelion
Circumhorizon arc
Circumscribed halo
Circumzenith arc
Infralateral arcs
Light pillar
Lowitz arcs
Parhelic circle
Parry arcs
Subsun
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
Afterglow
Anticrepuscular rays
Belt of Venus
Crepuscular rays
Purple red
Twilight arch
Twilight wedge


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


Diffraction phenomena Expand only this category
Antisolar iridescence
Corona
Glory
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
Scintillation
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 category from the list to the left to see featured galleries, or choose a gallery to view photos.