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Look up - there are beautiful sights in the sky! #860033 03/23/14 01:41 PM
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There are lots of interesting and beautiful effects to see in the sky, if you remember to look up from time to time. Besides the stars and planets in the night sky, there are wonderful effects of light and clouds during the day or night. A rainbow is an obvious one - a friend and I saw a lovely one last week from the Kew botanical gardens near London. That was really the icing on the cake. But there are many other things you might see.

Here is a Sun halo. Ice crystals or other moisture in the air can bend sunlight to create this circle around the Sun. I've never actually seen one myself, though I have seen a moon halo.


Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 04/11/14 04:42 AM.

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Lunar halo [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #860222 03/25/14 12:25 PM
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The Moon halo I saw wasn't as splendid at this one where the halo surrounds the Moon, Jupiter and Venus, which is really quite something.


Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 04/15/14 05:22 PM.

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Sunset at Kruger National Park, South Africa [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #860560 03/29/14 07:55 PM
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I love it when the sun backlights clouds, outlining them in gold. Here's an especially beautiful example of this as the Sun is setting. Not white clouds outlined in gold, but fabulous sunset colors with gold outlines: Sunset at Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 06/23/14 06:02 PM.

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Sun dogs [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #861637 04/13/14 10:07 AM
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This is something you may well have seen and perhaps thought it an illusion of some kind. It's a sun dog. It's more common to see them than a full halo around the Sun. It does look rather like a bit of rainbow, but the colors don't have the sharp clarity of a rainbow. I've seen them often, and although there should be one either side of the Sun, one of them is often not visible for various reasons.

Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 04/15/14 05:21 PM.

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Lunar corona [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #861823 04/15/14 05:18 PM
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This picture was in the gallery at SpaceWeather.com today. It shows that the lunar eclipse wasn't the only show in town last night. This is a particularly colorful lunar corona. You can often see these - though not quite this intense - when there are clouds crossing in front of the Moon.


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Rising Moon at Sunset [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #862114 04/20/14 12:52 PM
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The Moon looks so different at different times of night, with different effects of light and cloud, against different backgrounds, and at different phases. It's worth looking out for it. Here is a superb view of moonrise at sunset. It was taken in Florida by someone setting up his equipment to watch this month's lunar eclipse. It's a stunning picture.


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Re: Rising Moon at Sunset [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #862153 04/21/14 04:26 AM
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Hello Mona,

What a feast! Thank you very much for putting these photographs up, it's a fascinating world we have 'above' and around us. I garden by the moon so am usually aware and enjoy the night sky where I live. I have a friend who lives on the fifth floor of a building and I often go to watch the sunsets or the full moons etc. from his balcony and they are a life treat for sure.

That photograph of sunset in Kruger is magnificent. I must say that the sunsets are quite exquisite in this part of the world - not only Kruger but most places ... and especially at this time of the year (autumn going into winter).

Thank you for your awesome pictures, really beautiful.

Cheers


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Light pillar [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #862672 04/27/14 09:54 AM
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You might think that this is a spotlight of some kind, but it's a light pillar. It's caused by light bouncing off ice crystals in the air. Interestingly, this one isn't caused by natural snowflakes, but by the snow-blowing machines that ski resorts were using them to create snow.


Last edited by Mona - Astronomy; 03/15/16 08:38 AM.

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Fire Rainbows [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #863671 05/13/14 10:35 AM
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A circumhorizontal arc is a very rare sky phenomenon. Its common name is "fire rainbow" even though it's not a rainbow and has nothing to do with fire. The coloring is like a rainbow, but it involves ice crystals of a certain size, the Sun at a certain angle and cirrus clouds at a specific height. You can see why it's rare! Click for four fire rainbows.


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Crescent moon [Re: Mona - Astronomy] #865351 06/01/14 04:30 AM
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This isn't something you see often - the tiniest sliver of a crescent Moon. And the photographer has caught it between two tall buildings for dramatic effect.


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