The Rare Parhelic Circle

By: Laurent Laveder


Region: Europe

Site: Brittany - France

Date: 2010 September 2

As seen on National Geographic News, in this summer day of Brittany refraction of sunlight in the atmosphere not only created a 22-degree halo around the sun it also exhibits a rare large halo known as the parhelic circle. It is an atmospheric phenomenon appearing as a horizontal white line on the same altitude as the sun, or rarely the Moon. If complete, the parhelic circle stretches all around the sky a photographed in the above image, but such views are very rare and more commonly it only appears in sections. Even fractions of parhelic circles are less common than sun dogs and 22 halos around the sun and the moon. As noted by the photographer "I was waiting for it since about 15 years ago when I first learnt about it in a book about atmospheric halos. You notice in the image how the parhelic circle is surrounding the zenith at a constant distance from the horizon." See this view in virtual reality animation as it has been experienced by the photographer. Laurent Laveder/

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