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In my lightboxes:

Lunar Circumhorizontal Arc
Photo By Joseph Thomas

  • Title: Lunar Circumhorizontal Arc
  • State/Province/Region: Colorado
  • Country: United States
  • Nearest Area: Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area
  • Nearest Town: Aspen
  • Description: This rare phenomenon is caused by light passing through high-altitude cirrus clouds. The sight only occurs if the cloud's hexagonal ice crystals are shaped like thick plates with their faces parallel to the ground. When light enters through a vertical side face of such an ice crystal and leaves from the bottom face, it refracts in the same way that light passes through a prism. If the crystals are aligned just right, the whole cloud lights up in a spectrum of colors. Normally only visible during daylight hours, this arc was invisible to the naked eye. I was photographing an interesting ridgeline at the spot where the moon had just dipped behind the horizon. Not until viewing the camera's LCD screen after the 30-second exposure did I realize I had captured the arc.
  • Gear: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 100-400 at 170mm
This Photo Has Been Viewed 408 times
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