I developed an interest in sun halos a while back. Bright rings and arcs can appear in the sky when ice crystals are lined up just right with your viewpoint, much as a rainbow forms when water droplets are lined up just right.
You see a lot more of them, and especially the most spectacular ones, in colder climates where ice crystals form more often. But I still see several circular halos and sundogs each year even in Southern California, particularly when there’s a thin layer of cirrus clouds. The ice crystals only need to be in a line of sight, not near the ground.
The arc at the top of this photo, looking like it’s bridging the two buildings, isn’t a rainbow — the colors are wrong and too pale, and it’s in the same direction as the sun (which is behind the building on the left). I think it’s a 22-degree circular halo, but I’m not certain. It looks a little bit too shallow, so it could be a tangent arc, but I’m not sure the sun was quite high enough for it to point downward from the tangent instead of upward.
Here are some other sun halo photos I’ve posted on this blog in the past.
Posted in Photos
Tagged halo, NaBloPoMo
I went out for a brief walk Thursday afternoon (sometimes you just need fresh air). It had been raining, but had stopped, and the sun had broken through the clouds. Something made me go up to the top of the nearby parking structure where I could see downtown Los Angeles. It turned out to still be completely in shadow, as the gloom stretched inland. But it made for a great contrast with the sunlit hotel in the foreground.
The next day, another of intermittent rain and sun, I glanced out my office window shortly before sunset and took another short walk, this time straight to the parking structure for a better view of the mountains. The sun was sinking past open patches in the cloud layer, and I realized it was only a matter of time before it lit up the city in the distance.
Sure enough, a few minutes later, downtown Los Angeles was lit up by the sunset, and while I was at the wrong angle to see the towers turn completely orange as I did once on the train nearly three years ago, I was able to line up the same angle as the photo from the previous day…because this time the nearby hotel was the building in shadow.
I’ve found my lunchtime patterns fossilizing. Mostly, there aren’t a whole lot of places to eat within walking distance that aren’t hotel restaurants and therefore expensive, and parking is such a chore that it’s not worth driving anywhere. So I end up going to two fast food places and two cafes, over and over again.
The other day, I started to walk to Subway, and realized I just couldn’t bring myself to eat there again. So I did something I’d never done: I kept walking. As it turns out there wasn’t anyplace to eat past it, just two more hotels (neither of which advertised a restaurant) and an abandoned office building. From there I walked along Sepulveda until I reached In-N-Out.
Along the way, though, I spotted some interesting items, like this old warehouse:
So, um, I can’t really think of anything to write about today, not anything I can do justice to in the free time I have before midnight. So, please enjoy this artistic shot of a toy sheep that was sitting on the table. (His name is, of course, Shaun.)
A long exposure shot in Thurston Lava Tube on the big island of Hawaii, capturing ghostly images of people walking through. I originally posted a color version along with other photos from the visit back in 2005, and converted it to black and white for my entry in this week’s photo challenge on WordPress.com. If I’d known it would look so much better in black and white, I would have converted it years ago.
Out of pure luck and timing during last night’s errands, I saw this amazing view of lenticular clouds over the San Gabriel Mountains, lit up red from the side by the sunset. I knew the phone couldn’t capture it, and ran back to the car for my camera. Even that came out awfully grainy, but the colors and shapes are intact.
Most of the “supermoon” effect is illusion and expectation (the full moon at perigee is a little bit bigger in the sky than at other parts of its orbit, but not that much), but it’s a great reminder to get out and look at — or photograph — the full moon.
See also on Flickr and on Instagram
Last night I had a perfect view of the conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury, but only a phone. Tonight I had a more obstructed view, but I think the power lines ended up making it a bit more interesting than a plain photo with this camera would have been.
It’s also astonishing how quickly Mercury moves. No wonder they named it after the god of speed.
I’m a bit late to the Shakespeare love floating around online today, but I did track down a few pictures from a 1999 trip to London. I had a few days at the end of a tour to wander around, and having just graduated with a drama degree, I had to visit the reconstructed Globe Theatre. I mean, seriously: Shakespeare.
I also stopped by the Criterion Theatre, where the RSC was presenting — no, the other RSC: The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).
One of these days I’ll track down the negatives and get a better scan.
Yesterday I looked at the moon and Jupiter and thought, there’s going to be another conjunction tomorrow, isn’t there? Then I forgot, but fortunately I had to make a grocery run and looked up.
For this second shot, I zoomed out and let it overexpose the moon so I could get the bright star Aldebaran in the photo as well. It was a bit easier than the really good one in January, because the crescent moon isn’t as bright (less area shining at us), so it didn’t overwhelm the stars and planet quite so thoroughly.
As I post this, it’s been about half an hour, so if you’re in the western half of North America and the sky is clear, you can walk outside RIGHT NOW and see this!