Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Looking out the Airplane Window

It is amazing what you can see out of an airplane window, if you know what to look for!  The first two photos are of the Belt of Venus.  The Belt of Venus is an atmospheric phenomenon that can be seen shortly after sunrise or sunset.  In this case, sunrise.

The next two photos are of an optical phenomenon called a Glory.  You can sometimes see this when looking out of an airplane window, down onto a cloud bank, when your window is on the opposite side of the plane from the sun.  Glories are caused when the sun's light is back-scattered across a set of uniformly sized water droplets in the cloud.  In this case, the first photo is what I saw out the window, showing a very faint Glory.  In the second picture I "photo-shopped" it so that you can more easily see the colored rings that make up the Glory.  Quite often when you see a Glory from an airplane, you can see the shadow of the plane inside the Glory.

Belt of Venus

Belt of Venus


Glory - digitally enhanced


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