Photographs of optical phenomena

Figure 1-6

Figure 1.

A subsun viewed from an aeroplane over England at 0730 BST on 16 April 2009. This is a reflection of sunlight from the top of horizontally-orientated ice crystal plates in cirrus cloud. (

© George Anderson


Figure 2.

Three rainbows seen near Egilsstaðir (Iceland) on the evening of 11 September 2010. The middle bow is a reflection bow produced by sunlight after reflection from calm water. (

© Neil Lofthouse


Figure 3.

A circumzenithal arc over Caversham (Berkshire) at noon on 28 January 2011. Formed by refraction of light through the ice crystals of cirrus cloud, this arc is found about 46° above the sun. (

© Clive Ormonde


Figure 4.

The coloured patch of cirrus shows a small fragment of a circumhorizontal arc. The picture was taken on 17 May 2011 at Saint-Sulpice (Lausanne, Switzerland). (

© Henrick Kolden


Figure 5.

This mist or fog bow (also known as a cloud bow, or white rainbow) was photographed on the morning of 19 September 2011 at Torphins (Kincardineshire). Small cloud droplets diffract the light to produce a white, colourless bow. (

© Jon Entwistle


Figure 6.

Photographed on the afternoon of 4 March 2012, the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai (the tallest building in the world) casts its shadow skywards in a dust-laden atmosphere. (

© Kenneth Nicholson