Atmospheric Phenomena

 This page contains images of miscellaneous atmospheric phenomena, such as spectacular rainbows, solar pillars, solar arcs, sun dogs, crepuscular rays, sunsets, and more.


A lovely "Belt of Venus" looking west over Port Phillip Bay. Imaged from Elwood Beach, Australia, before dawn on the 22nd July 2005. The Full Moon is also in the frame.

This image featured on NASA's "Astronomy Picture of the Day" 9th August 2005 and on 22nd July 2005.



Another example of anti-crepuscular rays; Monkey Mia, Western Australia, June 2012.


Anti-crepuscular rays in the late afternoon light seemingly converge to a point opposite the Sun; St Kilda Beach, April 2012.

Observed over Melbourne on the evening of the 18th March 2006. An auroral display? Not likely... as the view is looking NORTH over the CBD about 35km away. Most likely, a phenomenon (similar to solar/lunar pillars) created by bright lights below the local horizon reflecting off ordered ice crystals in the clouds above.

A wonderful display of sundogs and a trace of an upper tangent arc imaged over Elwood beach, Melbourne, April 2005.
sunset2 vsm.jpg (3523 bytes) The sun setting over La Palma, Canary Islands, August 2002.
sunset1 vsm.jpg (4182 bytes) A sunset from Central Scotland.
A beautiful sunset looking across the mudflats at Bo'ness, Central Scotland, March 2004.
A lovely sunset over Port Phillip Bay at Elwood Beach, Melbourne, Australia. October 2004.
A mushroom-shaped sun imaged from Elwood, Australia, on the 25th November 2004.
An effect called the "Belt of Venus". Visible opposite the sun before sunrise and after sunset it is a beautifully colourful projection of the Earth's shadow onto the sky; Feb 2004. 
Another example of the "Belt of Venus".
I call them "rainbow clouds" because they take on subtle, but noticeable, red and green shades, probably through refraction of sunlight.
rainbow vsm.jpg (4596 bytes) A colourful rainbow formed by light refraction through water droplets (Nature's prism) that appeared shortly after a heavy rain shower.
A close-up of a double bow showing the reversal of the colour sequence in the secondary bow and the region of dark sky between the bows.
Solar halo. Sunlight refracted by ice crystals in a hazy cloud. Taken at Elwood, Australia October 2004.
Lunar halo. Produced in similar fashion to the solar halo, but generally much weaker due to the lower brightness of the moon.
Another lunar halo imaged on the 30/3/04.
Sundog. Strong refraction of sunlight by a cloud of ice crystals.
Another sundog showing rainbow colouration.
Solar pillar. Light of the setting sun reflected by ice crystals in clouds. Here is a close-up view.
Crepuscular rays. Beams created by sunlight filtering through gaps in the clouds.
Sunset over the Atlantic Ocean seen from La Palma showing another good example of crepuscular rays.
Unusual crepuscular rays seen on Tenerife formed by sunlight filtering through gaps in cloud and a forest of trees.
More crepuscular rays sharply defined by the clouds.


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