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Snow Blanket Halo on January 2nd, 2011

Airborne ice crystals are not the only halo-makers. Halos can also form on the ground, due to the refraction of sunlight in snow and hoar frost crystals. After the strong snowfall all over Europe in December 2010, the snow blanket was quite high and lasted for a long time. On January 2nd, 2011, one of the few sunny days in the region, unusually distinct snow blanket halos could be observed in some spots. The reddish inner rim was as obvious as the reduced brightness and missing colours inside the halo, as no light is refracted through angles smaller than 22 degrees. For more information see the explanations on Les Cowley's website Atmospheric Optics.

Distinct snow blanket halo. Note the faint 46° halo at the lower left. Leica M8.2, wide-angle Tri-Elmar set to 18 mm (corresponding to 24 mm) Processed with Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Distinct halo fragment. Leica M8.2, Summarit 35 mm f/2.5


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