Category Archives: Photos

Double Solar Halo

Thin clouds and contrails cross the sky. A bright rainbow-like ring circles a spot just out of view above the frame. A fainter rainbow-like line runs across the sky below it.

Two solar ice halos spotted at lunch today.

The 22° halo around the sun is really bright and clear, and not that uncommon even in Los Angeles. I’ve seen so many that I still take photos, but I often forget to post them unless there’s something unusual about the view.

The circumhorizon arc below it, on the other hand, I’ve only seen a few times, usually fragments. It’s faint, but it’s the longest and least wispy of these arcs that I’ve seen (though the best was probably this one from 2010).

The lower one could be an infralateral arc. It wasn’t quite long enough to tell in person whether it curved upward or was parallel to the horizon, and it’s hard to tell how much of the curve in the photo is due to lens distortion. But according to Atmospheric Optics, they’re a lot rarer than circumhorizon arcs.

It’s cool to be able to get pictures of these with my phone. There was a time I’d run to get a camera and hope it wouldn’t fade first.

Saturation enhanced. It was really hazy!

Wispy Sundog Fragment

Wispy sundog fragment (colors enhanced). The colors were really easy to see through my polarized sunglasses, but just faded into the glare without them. My phone barely caught it, but the info was there once I stretched the saturation.

Venus and Mercury Spotted!

Venus and Mercury close together after last night’s sunset.

I lucked out in that…

  • I remembered they were going to be visible when I got to the store on the way home.
  • The parking lot was both wide and slightly uphill from the western side of the street, giving me a clear view.
  • The sky had just darkened enough to see both.
  • The clouds were just wispy enough not to block them.

As it is, I still had to crop out a street light and its lens flare to get this photo, or I would have framed it better.

But hey, it’s not often you get to see Mercury from a city at all, never mind right next to another planet!

Late Start

From yesterday: the first significant snow in the mountains above Los Angeles this winter, courtesy of last week’s storm.

Unfortunately, it’s almost spring. The weather has already warmed up again. Last week I was wearing sweaters and a medium jacket. Today I’m back to short sleeves, and I had to put the jacket away on my lunchtime walk.

And there’s not much of that snow left today.

KQED has some great photos of snow in the Sierra Nevadas after the same storm. That’s more important, as California depends more on the Sierra snowpack for water during the summer.

They’re expecting another storm to come through next weekend. I guess we’ll see how much snow we get. And how long it sticks around.