120 Degree Parhelia

The 120 degree parhelia can sometimes be seen on their own in small patches of cirrus, but you have to be looking in the right place at the right time. You also need to check that the spot remains stationary as the cloud moves through because it is easy to be fooled by brighter patches of cloud.

A little bit later the other parhelion was briefly visible, at the centre of this image. This time I took a few shots with the camera mounted on a tripod so they could be aligned easily, unfortunately the brightest part was missed while I was setting up.

Click on the image for a brief 4 frame animation. The sequence is centred on the parhelion which disappears as the cloud moves away to the lower left. It shows how important the relative movement of the cloud is in distinguishing the parhelion.

I got the impression that the outer parts of the parhelion had a very weak brownish tint.

Canon EOS 20D   17th July 2006
Wiltshire, England

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