Science - Double Rainbows - Auroras -

 Zodiacal Lights - Sun's and Moon's Halos



      Double Rainbows








Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10 (3 mins)

It was rainbowing for at least an hour on January 8th 2010. It was incredible. The camera could not capture the vivid intensity and brightness. Look into the mirror, look into your soul!














Red and green Auroras, Norway



Aurora (Astronomy) ( Northern Lights)


An aurora (plural: aurorae or auroras; from the Latin word aurora, "dawn") is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere (thermosphere). The charged particles originate in the magnetosphere and solar wind and, on Earth, are directed by the Earth's magnetic field into the atmosphere. Aurora is classified as diffuse or discrete aurora.


 Most aurorae occur in a band known as the auroral zone, which is typically 3° to 6° in latitudinal extent and at all local times or longitudes. The auroral zone is typically 10° to 20° from the magnetic pole defined by the axis of the Earth's magnetic dipole. During a geomagnetic storm, the auroral zone will expand to lower latitudes. The diffuse aurora is a featureless glow in the sky which may not be visible to the naked eye even on a dark night and defines the extent of the auroral zone. The discrete aurorae are sharply defined features within the diffuse aurora which vary in brightness from just barely visible to the naked eye to bright enough to read a newspaper at night. Discrete aurorae are usually observed only in the night sky because they are not as bright as the sunlit sky. Aurorae occasionally occur poleward of the auroral zone as diffuse patches or arcs (polar cap arcs[4]), which are generally invisible to the naked eye.

n northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the northern lights), named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Pierre Gassendi in 1621.Auroras seen near the magnetic pole may be high overhead, but from farther away, they illuminate the northern horizon as a greenish glow or sometimes a faint red, as if the Sun were rising from an unusual direction. Discrete aurorae often display magnetic field lines or curtain-like structures, and can change within seconds or glow unchanging for hours, most often in fluorescent green. The aurora borealis most often occurs near the equinoctes. The northern lights have had a number of names throughout history. The Cree call this phenomenon the "Dance of the Spirits". In Europe, in the Middle Ages, the auroras were commonly believed a sign from God.

Its southern counterpart, the aurora australis (or the southern lights), has almost identical features to the aurora borealis and changes simultaneously with changes in the northern auroral zone and is visible from high southern latitudes in Antarctica, South America, New Zealand, and Australia. Aurorae occur on other planets. Similar to the Earth's aurora, they are visible close to the planet's magnetic poles. Modern style guides recommend that the names of meteorological phenomena, such as aurora borealis, be uncapitalized.


A predominantly red Aurora Australis




Aurora australis (11 September 2005) as captured by NASA's IMAGE satellite, digitally overlaid onto The Blue Marble composite image


Image from Space



Aurora Australis 1994 from Bluff, New Zealand


Jupiter Aurora



The ultimate Energy Source of the Aurora is the Solar Wind flowing past the Earth.


The magnetosphere and solar wind consist of plasma (ionized gas), which conducts electricity. It is well known (since Michael Faraday's work around 1830) that when an electrical conductor is placed within a magnetic field while relative motion occurs in a direction that the conductor cuts across (or is cut by), rather than along, the lines of the magnetic field, an electric current is said to be induced into that conductor and electrons will flow within it.



Diffuse aurora observed by DE-1 satellite from low Earth orbit




The northern auroral oval is centered on the North Geomagnetic Pole currently located in northern Canada. - NASA




Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP)


A Satellite photo taken of Monday morning’s aurora?


The Earth-observing research satellite called Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) snapped this view of the aurora borealis from 512 miles up early on the morning of October 8, 2012.




Night fly by ISS




  ISS Flying over the Earth auroras & lightning / Jonn Serrie - Welcome Home - High-Speed Film(  8:19 mins)  !!!!!


Awesome stunning view from Space to Earth. Night fly by ISS,  - "Aurora Borealis" Pass over the United States at Night Northern Lights Madacasgar "Aurora Australis" Central Asia to Russia Europe to Indian Ocean New Zealand to Pacific Ocean Northwest US to South America Aurora Australis over Australia North America to South America Tansania to Southern etc.


"Image courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center"  The station is maintained in orbit between 278 km (173 mi) and 460 km (286 mi) altitude, and travels at an average ground speed of 27,724 km (17,227 mi) per hour, completing 15.7 orbits per day.
"It is spectacular. It's amazing to hold onto the International Space Station, you're going seventeen and a half thousand miles an hour, and just sort of look down at your feet and 200 miles under your feet, there goes the coast of California and, oops, nine minutes later, there goes New York City as you're flying over and then on your way to Europe." -Dan Tani, Astronaut ("In Their Own Words")

The ISS is a joint project between the five participating space agencies, the American NASA, the Russian RKA, the Japanese JAXA, the European ESA, and the Canadian CSA.






The Solar Winds



The aurora is very common and happens twice every years in the poles. These magnetic storms are most common during the peak the sunspot cycle which causes the largest aurora. The main cause of the Aurora are energy charged particles from the magnetosphere. The particles are electrons and protons that are energy fill in our geospace (region of space around Earth). The energy is gained from the reaction between Earth's Magnetosphere and the solar wind. The magnetosphere is a volume of space surrounding Earth which is caused by Earths magnetic field. It reaches out into space until it is balanced out by the solar wind.


 The solar wind is furthest atmosphere of the sun. the sun releases a very thin gas in it's atmosphere and in this gas are protons and electrons. When these protons and electrons hit a planet's magnetic field they cannot move through so they move along the field. The solar wind continues to try and move through the magnetosphere and eventually the magnetosphere sgets rid of electrons and protons into the upper atmosphere where the energy of the plasma can be released. This plasma is what causes the aurora. you can see this displayed in the image above.







On the Audibility of the Aurora Borealis ??


Excerpted testimonies from two articles—“Audibility of the Aurora Borealis” by David Pentland and “Can You Hear the Aurora?” by B.W. Currie. Published in an issue of The Musk-Ox, no. 22, 1978. Found in the free pile at the Yellowknife Public Library.....


Listening to Northern Lights & Space Weather ( 7 mins)


A Minnesota Planetarium Video- Natural Radio: When solar flares hit the Earth's magnetic field, the skies at both poles can light up with auroras. The particles also create very low frequency electromagnetic waves, a type of natural radio that can be picked up around the globe. ...



 Zodiacal Lights and Zodiacal Cloud



Zodiacal Lights at Paranal Observatory - Chile






Zodiacal Lights and Zodiacal Cloud


Zodiacal light is a faint, roughly triangular, diffuse white glow seen in the night sky that appears to extend up from the vicinity of the Sun along the ecliptic or zodiac.[1] It is best seen just after sunset and before sunrise in spring and autumn when the zodiac is at a steep angle to the horizon. Caused by sunlight scattered by space dust in the zodiacal cloud, it is so faint that either moonlight or light pollution renders it invisible.

The zodiacal light decreases in intensity with distance from the Sun, but on very dark nights it has been observed in a band completely around the ecliptic. In fact, the zodiacal light covers the entire sky, being responsible for major part[2](60%[citation needed]) of the total skylight on a moonless night. There is also a very faint, but still slightly increased, oval glow directly opposite the Sun which is known as the gegenschein.

The dust forms a thick pancake-shaped cloud in the Solar System collectively known as the zodiacal cloud, which occupies the same plane as the ecliptic. The dust particles are between 10 and 300 micrometres in diameter, with most mass around 150 micrometres...


The zodiacal light is sunlight reflected from microscopic dust particles in orbit about the Sun and concentrated near the ecliptic plane. Figure 3-16 is a picture of the zodiacal light taken by P. Hutchinson from atop 3048-m Mt. Haleakala, Hawaii, in January 1967, just before sunrise. From the Earth, the zodiacal light is best seen when the ecliptic plane is approximately perpendicular to the horizon. In the Northern Hemisphere, the best times to view the zodiacal light are on clear, moonless nights after twilight in February and March and before dawn in September and October. In equatorial regions it is visible throughout the year. Figure 3-16 shows the rapid dimming of the zodiacal light at increasing angular distances from the Sun. At 30° from the Sun in the ecliptic, it is approximately three times brighter than the brightest part of the Milky Way.



Zodiacal Lights and the Milky Way





Researchers Solve the Mystery of the Zodiacal Light


Previous studies had suggested that much of the zodiacal light came from the dust of colliding asteroids, but the only way this model could reproduce the great breadth of the zodiacal cloud above and below the plane of the planets was to have the dust come from the comets that orbit

in the vicinity of Jupiter’s orbit. Those comets already range much farther from the plane of the planets than asteroids do, and Jupiter’s gravitational effects would drive their dust even farther afield. To make the modeled zodiacal cloud as dense as the real one, the dust had to come from comets falling apart, not just those shedding dust near the sun,



Comets did it. Disrupting comets (white and red v's) rather than asteroids (green) contribute most of the dust that makes up the zodiacal cloud (purple haze and inset).





Sun's and Moon's Halos



Pathway of light through a hexagonal prism

 in the optimal angle resulting in minimum deviation.




The incoming light passes through ice crystals of thin, high-level clouds (like cirrostratus clouds) and is refracted by an angle of 46 degrees before being registered by the eye. Consequently, an observer sees a ring of lig

ht around the sun (or moon) at an angle of 46 degrees relative to the light source.



What determines if a 46 degree halo or a 22 degree halo develops is the path of the light as

 it passes through hexagonal ice crystals.

 A 22 degree halo results from "in one side,

out another side"; a 46 degree halo from

 "in one side, out the bottom".



Ice Crystal Halos


A 22° Halo


A 22° halo is a halo, one type of optical phenomenon, forming a circle 22° around the sun, or occasionally the moon. It forms as sunlight is refracted in hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. As the light beam passes through two sides of the prism forming a 60° angle, the angle of minimum deviation is almost 22° (namely, 21.84° on average; 21.54° for red and 22.37° for blue). This wavelength-dependent variation in refraction causes the inner edge of the circle to be reddish while the outer edge is bluish.[1] A 22° halo may be visible on as many as 100 days per year.


Light passing through the hexagonal ice prisms is deflected twice, which produces deviation angles ranging from 22° to 50°. Lesser deviation results in a brighter halo along the inner edge of the circle, while greater deviation contribute to the weaker outer part of the halo. As no light is refracted at smaller angles than 22° the sky is darker inside the halo.  This effect is similar to Alexander's band, which lies between primary and secondary rainbows.

22° halos form when the sky contains millions of variously oriented (poorly correlated) ice crystals. Some of these happen to be aligned perpendicular to the sun's light as viewed by any given observer, which produces the illuminated 22° circle, while other crystals produce the same phenomenon for other observers.

Like other ice halos, 22° halos appear when the sky is covered by thin cirrus clouds containing the ice crystals that cause the phenomenon. Small colorful coronas much nearer the sun produced by water droplets can occasionally be confused with 22° halos.


46° Halo


A 46° halo is a rare optical halo centred on the sun. At sun elevations between 15-27°, it is often confused with the more colourful and frequently observed supralateral and infralateral arcs. It is named for crossing the parhelic circle 46° from the sun.[1]

46° halos are similar to but much broader and much fainter than the more common 22° halos. They form when sunlight enters randomly oriented hexagonal ice crystals through a prism face and exits through a hexagonal base.[2] The 90° inclination between the two faces of the crystals causes the colours of the 46° halo to be more widely dispersed than those of the 22° halo. In addition, as a lot of rays are deflected at larger angles than the angle of minimum deviation, the outer edge of the halo is more diffuse.[3]

To tell the difference between a 46° halo and the infra-/supralateral arcs, one should carefully observe sun elevation and the fluctuating shapes and orientations of the arcs. The supralateral arc always touches the circumzenithal arc, while the 46° halo only achieves this when the sun is located 15-27° over the horizon, leaving a gap between the two at other elevations. In contrast, supralateral arcs cannot form when the sun is over 32°, so a halo in the 46°-region is always a 46° halo at higher elevations. If the sun is near zenith, however, circumhorizontal or infralateral arcs are located 46° under the sun and can be confused with the 46° halo.




One of the additional optical phenomena shows up

 in the picture below from Bethlehem, PA  It's a Circumzenithal arc (C). It is caused by bending of

light from ice crystals plates. It is usually found right above a 46 degree halo (46), which is faint to

invisible on this occasion.








Sun's Halo


Sundogs, Parhelia, Mock Suns


Sundogs, sometimes called Sun Dogs, Parhelia or Mock Suns, are with the 22º halo, the most frequent of the ice halos. They are most easily seen when the sun is low.




A halo around the Sun or Moon occurs because of Refraction in tiny hexagonal ice crystals in the air.






Halos around the moon – or sun – are a sign of thin cirrus clouds drifting high above our heads. They are a sign of

nearby storms.




A Moon Halo with a Rainbow effect.



Moon's Halo


A halo (from Greek ἅλως; also known as a nimbus, icebow or gloriole) is an optical phenomenon produced by ice crystals creating colored or white arcs and spots in the sky. Many are near the sun or moon but others are elsewhere and even in the opposite part of the sky. They can also form around artificial lights in very cold weather when ice crystals called diamond dust are floating in the nearby air.

There are many types of ice halos. They are produced by the ice crystals in cirrus clouds high (5–10 km, or 3–6 miles) in the upper troposphere. The particular shape and orientation of the crystals is responsible for the type of halo observed. Light is reflected and refracted by the ice crystals and may split up into colors because of dispersion. The crystals behave like prisms and mirrors, refracting and reflecting sunlight between their faces, sending shafts of light in particular directions.



What makes a halo around the sun or moon?




Other Celestial Events





A similar Halo as our Milky Way's.


Galactic Halo


The halo is a spherical cloud of stars surrounding our galaxy's disk. There are the Inner and the the outer halos.






Close up of the cloud above when it was

 nearer the sun with colors even more intense.


Iridescent colors are also seen in soap bubbles when light waves from the top and bottom layers of the bubble film interfere (reinforce or cancel) one another.



Iridescence - Cloud related to Auroras


—An altocumulus cloud dressed up in iridescent hues of pink, blue-green and yellow


Extremely tiny, uniform-sized water droplets or ice crystals in certain types of clouds scatter light in all directions. The scattered light waves pass through one another just like the waves from our boats. Where crests coincide, that particular color or wavelength of light is reinforced and appears bright; where troughs coincide, the waves cancel or interfere with one another and that color is weakened or missing. Since light is composed of every color of the rainbow, a series of vivid, alternating hues results and tints the clouds’ edge.


Only tiny ones diffract light well. In particular, the edges of clouds are best because they’re exceedingly thin. Light passes through a single layer of droplets and streams to your eyes without being absorbed by intervening droplets. -


 Iridescent Colors


Iridescence happens in other ways. In soap bubbles, some of the light reflects off the outer layer while a portion continues through it and reflects off the layer’s inner surface. The second reflection is delayed by the extra time it took to penetrate the bubble and reflect back. - When the two rays rejoin, the crests and troughs aren’t lined up anymore. Scientists say they’re “out of phase” with each other. Some of the waves of each individual color of the spectrum reinforce each other; others interfere, creating delightful swirls of pastel colors.





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