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Encyclopedia > Glory (optical phenomenon)
NASA photo
NASA photo
Glory with aircraft shadow in the center. It is easy to see what part of the plane the photographer was sitting in.
Glory with aircraft shadow in the center. It is easy to see what part of the plane the photographer was sitting in.
Glory encountered during a hike in An Teallach, Scotland
Glory encountered during a hike in An Teallach, Scotland
Glory looking out of the aircraft window
Glory looking out of the aircraft window

A glory is an optical phenomenon produced by light reflected toward its source by a cloud of uniformly-sized water droplets. A glory can have multiple colored rings. The angular size is much smaller than a rainbow, about 5° to 20°, depending on the size of the droplets. Since it is seen in the direction opposite the sun it is most commonly observed while airborne, with the glory surrounding the airplane's shadow on clouds. Glory (NASA) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Glory (NASA) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1050x806, 184 KB)Circular rainbow seen from an aircraft flying over the South of UK This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1050x806, 184 KB)Circular rainbow seen from an aircraft flying over the South of UK This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2122x1591, 1845 KB) Summary Description: Glory encountered during a hike in An Teallach, Scotland Date: 2005-08 Author: AndiW 13:01:40, 2005-09-04 (UTC) Permission: picture taken by myself Licensing File links The following pages link to this file... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2122x1591, 1845 KB) Summary Description: Glory encountered during a hike in An Teallach, Scotland Date: 2005-08 Author: AndiW 13:01:40, 2005-09-04 (UTC) Permission: picture taken by myself Licensing File links The following pages link to this file... An Teallach (Pronounced An T-yell-ach) (meaning The Forge in Gaelic) is one of the most impressive of Scotland’s mountains. ... Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (English: No one provokes me with impunity) Scotlands location within Europe Scotlands location within the United Kingdom Languages English, Gaelic, Scots Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow First Minister Jack McConnell Area - Total - % water Ranked 2nd UK 78,782 km² 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1360x2048, 721 KB) Summary Taken by Wing-Chi Poon on 6th March 2004 on board a commercial airplane shortly before it lands at Chicago, Illinois, USA. From the window of the airplane, one can see the wing at the top and... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1360x2048, 721 KB) Summary Taken by Wing-Chi Poon on 6th March 2004 on board a commercial airplane shortly before it lands at Chicago, Illinois, USA. From the window of the airplane, one can see the wing at the top and... Spheres reflecting the floor and each other. ... A complete half-circle rainbow at Lake Zurich. ...


A historical name for this phenomena is the Brocken Spectre or Brocken bow. The name derives from the Brocken, the tallest peak of the Harz mountain range in Germany. Because the peak is above the cloud level, and the area is frequently misty, the condition of a shadow cast onto a cloud layer is relatively favored. The appearance of giant shadows that seemed to move by themselves due to the movement of the cloud layer (this movement is another part of the definition of the Brocken Spectre), and which were surrounded by optical glory halos, may have contributed to the reputation the Harz mountains hold as a refuge for witches and evil spirits. In Goethe's Faust, the Brocken is called the Blocksberg and is the site of the Witches' Sabbath on Walpurgis Night. The Brocken bow, also called Brocken spectre or Mountain spectre, observed and described by Johann Esaias Silberschlag in 1780, is the apparently enormously magnified shadow of an observer cast, when the Sun is low, upon the upper surfaces of clouds that are below the mountain upon which he stands. ... The Brocken, or Blocksberg, is the highest peak (1142 meters) in the Harz Mountains in Germany, between the rivers Weser and Elbe. ... The Harz is a mountain range in northern Germany. ... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (pronounced [gø tə]) (August 28, 1749–March 22, 1832) was a German writer, politician, humanist, scientist, and philosopher. ... Faust (Latin Faustus) is the protagonist of a popular German tale of a pact with the Devil, assumed to be based on the figure of the German magician and alchemist Dr. Johann Georg Faust (approximately 1480–1540). ... The Brocken, or Blocksberg, is the highest peak (1142 meters) in the Germany, between the rivers Weser and Elbe. ... In Christian folk lore the Sabbath (or witch Sabbath to some people) is the name given to gatherings supposed to have been celebrated by Satanists, witches and warlocks to honor the Devil, offend God, Jesus, the sacraments, the cross, and perform unholy rites. ... Walpurgis Night in Sweden Walpurgis Night (Walpurgisnacht in German, and Dutch, Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish, Vappu in Finnish, Volbriöö in Estonian, Valpurgijos naktis in Lithuanian,ValpurÄ£u nakts or ValpurÄ£i in Latvian, čarodÄ›jnice or Valpuržina noc in Czech, chódotypalenje Lower Sorbian, chodojtypalenje in Upper Sorbian, and...


C. T. R. Wilson saw a glory while working as a temporary observer at the Ben Nevis weather station. Inspired by the impressive sight, he decided to build a device for creating clouds in the laboratory, so that he could make a synthetic, small-scale glory. His work led directly to the cloud chamber, a device for detecting ionizing radiation. Charles Thomson Rees Wilson (February 14, 1869 - November 15, 1959) was a Scottish physicist. ... Location of Ben Nevis NN166713 Ben Nevis (or Beinn Nibheis in Scottish Gaelic) is the highest mountain in the British Isles. ... Discovery of the positron in 1932 by Carl D. Anderson in a cloud chamber The cloud chamber, also known as the Wilson chamber, is used for detecting particles of ionizing radiation. ... Ionizing radiation is either particle radiation or electromagnetic radiation in which an individual particle/photon carries enough energy to ionize an atom or molecule by completely removing an electron from its orbit. ...


In China, this phenomenon is called Buddha's light (佛光). It was often observed on cloud-shrouded high mountains, such as Huang shan and Mount Emei. Records of the phenomenon at Mount Emei date back to A.D. 63. The colorful halo always surrounds the observer's own shadow, and thus was often taken to show the observer's personal enlightenment (associated with Buddha or something divine) until modern science explained the optics behind the phenomenon. A stone image of the Buddha. ... Huangshan 2002 Mount Huangshan is a mountain range in Anhui province in eastern China. ... Location within China Mount Emei (峨眉山, pinyin Éméi Shān, Wade-Giles O2-mei2 Shan1, literally Delicate Eyebrow Mountain) is a mountain in Sichuan province of Western China. ...


External links

  • [1]
  • Glories - an Atmospheric Phenomenon

 
 

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