Cloud of the Day – Glory
Glory is an optical phenomenon which has become much more commonly observed since the rise of widespread flight.
Glory is seen in clouds or mist when the Sun (or rarely the Moon) is directly behind the observer.
The observer must be higher than the clouds or mist because, since the Sun (or Moon) is above the horizon, the glory must be below the opposite horizon.
Glory is most commonly observed from a high vantage point, like a mountain, a bridge, a tall building or an aircraft.
In some cases the glory will surround the shadow of the aircraft.
When the glory surrounds the dramatically large shadow of the observer, when standing on a mountain top, say, it is called a Brocken spectre, named for a German mountain renowned for the effect.
No one has yet devised a generally accepted theory for the formation of glories. The rings are all centered on the observer’s eyes, so they’re obviously dependent on the observer’s position. And they’re obviously optical, resulting from one or more of the reflection, refraction, interference, and tunneling of light. It’s not nailed down yet, though.
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