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120° Parhelia on September 19th, 2008

On September 19th, 2008, Trier witnessed not only very bright fragments of the parhelic circle, but also 120° parhelia that kept appearing and disappearing. There were moments when they were extremely bright and surrounded with a coloured fringe. As shown this image, 120° parhelia can appear when the parhelic circle is faint or even seems to be missing. One reason for this is that 120° parhelia need hexagonal plate crystals, while the parhelic circle also occurs in columnar crystals. Nevertheless single 120° parhelia are hard to spot and often prone to misinterpretations. They can be recognized by their circular or slightly oval shape. They often appear slightly bluish in front of the cloud background. Nikon D80, processed with Adobe Photoshop Elements 6.0.


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