Abstract

On the morning of 5 November 2013, a bright subsun was consistently visible during a flight from Bozeman, Montana, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Just after passing over the Wasatch Mountains and beginning to descend into the Salt Lake Valley, the subsun expanded to a rare display of Bottlinger’s rings—an elliptical halo surrounding the subsun. The rings remained visible for 1 to 2 min. This paper shows photographs of the sequence, along with meteorological data from a nearby radiosonde. The display occurred in virga below clouds at an air temperature in the approximate range from 8°C to 12°C, in air saturated with respect to ice, at an altitude of approximately 2600–3600 m above mean sea level.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. R. Greenler, Rainbows, Halos, and Glories (Elton-Wolf, 2000).
  2. W. Tape, Atmospheric Halos (American Geophysical Union, 1994).
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    [Crossref]
  6. M. Vollmer and J. A. Shaw, “Brilliant colours from a white snow cover,” Phys. Educ. 48, 322–331 (2013).
    [Crossref]
  7. J. A. Shaw, Optics in the Air: Observing Optical Phenomena Through Airplane Windows (SPIE, 2017).
  8. J. A. Shaw, “Glittering light on water,” Opt. Photonics News 10(3), 43–45 (1999).
    [Crossref]
  9. J. A. Shaw and J. H. Churnside, “Scanning-laser glint measurements of sea-surface slope statistics,” Appl. Opt. 36, 4202–4213 (1997).
    [Crossref]
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    [Crossref]
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    [Crossref]
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    [Crossref]
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    [Crossref]
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    [Crossref]
  19. M. Pekkola, “Finnish halo observing network: search for rare halo phenomena,” Appl. Opt. 30, 3542–3544 (1991).
    [Crossref]
  20. P. Parviainen, C. F. Bohren, and V. Mäkelä, “Vertical elliptical coronas caused by pollen,” Appl. Opt. 33, 4548–4551 (1994).
    [Crossref]
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  22. K. Stuchtey, “Untersonnen und lichtsäulen an Sonne und Mond,” Ann. Phys. 364, 33–55 (1919).
  23. A. B. Fraser, (personal communication, 2017).
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    [Crossref]
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    [Crossref]
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    [Crossref]
  28. http://www.atoptics.co.uk/fz408.htm .
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    [Crossref]

2013 (1)

M. Vollmer and J. A. Shaw, “Brilliant colours from a white snow cover,” Phys. Educ. 48, 322–331 (2013).
[Crossref]

2011 (1)

2005 (1)

K. Libbrecht, “The physics of snow crystals,” Rep. Prog. Phys. 68, 855–896 (2005).
[Crossref]

1999 (2)

1998 (1)

1997 (1)

1996 (1)

1994 (3)

1991 (1)

1989 (1)

J. Hakumäki and M. Pekkola, “Rare vertically elliptical halos,” Weather 44, 466–473 (1989).
[Crossref]

1987 (1)

1980 (1)

1978 (1)

D. Lynch, “Atmospheric halos,” Sci. Am. 238, 144–152 (1978).
[Crossref]

1973 (1)

J. O. Mattson, “Sub-sun and light-pillars of street lamps,” Weather 28, 66–68 (1973).
[Crossref]

1972 (1)

R. G. Greenler, M. Drinkwine, A. J. Mallmann, and G. Blumenthal, “The origin of sun pillars: a computer modeling process reveals a new explanation for the vertical column of light sometimes seen passing through the sun,” Am. Sci. 60, 292–302 (1972).

1919 (1)

K. Stuchtey, “Untersonnen und lichtsäulen an Sonne und Mond,” Ann. Phys. 364, 33–55 (1919).

1913 (1)

F. Schlesinger, “Elliptical lunar halos,” Nature 91, 110–111 (1913).
[Crossref]

1910 (1)

C. F. Bottlinger, “Über eine interessante optische erscheinung bei einer ballon fahrt (An interesting phenomenon seen during a balloon trip),” Meteorologische Zeitschrift 25, 74 (1910).

Blumenthal, G.

R. G. Greenler, M. Drinkwine, A. J. Mallmann, and G. Blumenthal, “The origin of sun pillars: a computer modeling process reveals a new explanation for the vertical column of light sometimes seen passing through the sun,” Am. Sci. 60, 292–302 (1972).

Bohren, C. F.

Bottlinger, C. F.

C. F. Bottlinger, “Über eine interessante optische erscheinung bei einer ballon fahrt (An interesting phenomenon seen during a balloon trip),” Meteorologische Zeitschrift 25, 74 (1910).

Churnside, J. H.

Dearborn, D. S. P.

Drinkwine, M.

R. G. Greenler, M. Drinkwine, A. J. Mallmann, and G. Blumenthal, “The origin of sun pillars: a computer modeling process reveals a new explanation for the vertical column of light sometimes seen passing through the sun,” Am. Sci. 60, 292–302 (1972).

Fraser, A. B.

Gedzelman, S. D.

Greenler, R.

R. Greenler, Rainbows, Halos, and Glories (Elton-Wolf, 2000).

Greenler, R. G.

A. J. Mallmann, J. L. Hock, and R. G. Greenler, “Comparison of sun pillars with light pillars from nearby sources,” Appl. Opt. 37, 1441–1449 (1998).
[Crossref]

R. G. Greenler, M. Drinkwine, A. J. Mallmann, and G. Blumenthal, “The origin of sun pillars: a computer modeling process reveals a new explanation for the vertical column of light sometimes seen passing through the sun,” Am. Sci. 60, 292–302 (1972).

Hakumäki, J.

J. Hakumäki and M. Pekkola, “Rare vertically elliptical halos,” Weather 44, 466–473 (1989).
[Crossref]

Hock, J. L.

Libbrecht, K.

K. Libbrecht, “The physics of snow crystals,” Rep. Prog. Phys. 68, 855–896 (2005).
[Crossref]

Livingston, W.

D. Lynch and W. Livingston, Color and Light in Nature, 3rd ed. (Thule Scientific, 2010).

Lock, J. A.

Lynch, D.

D. Lynch, “Atmospheric halos,” Sci. Am. 238, 144–152 (1978).
[Crossref]

D. Lynch and W. Livingston, Color and Light in Nature, 3rd ed. (Thule Scientific, 2010).

Lynch, D. K.

Mäkelä, V.

Mallmann, A. J.

A. J. Mallmann, J. L. Hock, and R. G. Greenler, “Comparison of sun pillars with light pillars from nearby sources,” Appl. Opt. 37, 1441–1449 (1998).
[Crossref]

R. G. Greenler, M. Drinkwine, A. J. Mallmann, and G. Blumenthal, “The origin of sun pillars: a computer modeling process reveals a new explanation for the vertical column of light sometimes seen passing through the sun,” Am. Sci. 60, 292–302 (1972).

Mattson, J. O.

J. O. Mattson, “Sub-sun and light-pillars of street lamps,” Weather 28, 66–68 (1973).
[Crossref]

Moilanen, J.

Parviainen, P.

Pekkola, M.

Penttinen, M.

Piikki, J.

Riikonen, M.

Ruoskanen, J.

Sassen, K.

Schlesinger, F.

F. Schlesinger, “Elliptical lunar halos,” Nature 91, 110–111 (1913).
[Crossref]

Scorer, R. S.

R. S. Scorer, Clouds of the World (Stackpole, 1972). [The Bottlinger’s ring photograph is in Plate 13.3.11.]

Shaw, J. A.

M. Vollmer and J. A. Shaw, “Brilliant colours from a white snow cover,” Phys. Educ. 48, 322–331 (2013).
[Crossref]

J. A. Shaw, “Glittering light on water,” Opt. Photonics News 10(3), 43–45 (1999).
[Crossref]

J. A. Shaw and J. H. Churnside, “Scanning-laser glint measurements of sea-surface slope statistics,” Appl. Opt. 36, 4202–4213 (1997).
[Crossref]

J. A. Shaw, Optics in the Air: Observing Optical Phenomena Through Airplane Windows (SPIE, 2017).

Sillanpää, M.

Stuchtey, K.

K. Stuchtey, “Untersonnen und lichtsäulen an Sonne und Mond,” Ann. Phys. 364, 33–55 (1919).

Tape, W.

W. Tape, Atmospheric Halos (American Geophysical Union, 1994).

W. Tape, Atmospheric Halos and the Search for Angle X (American Geophysical Union, 2006).

Thompson, G. J.

Tränkle, E.

Vollmer, M.

M. Vollmer and J. A. Shaw, “Brilliant colours from a white snow cover,” Phys. Educ. 48, 322–331 (2013).
[Crossref]

Am. Sci. (1)

R. G. Greenler, M. Drinkwine, A. J. Mallmann, and G. Blumenthal, “The origin of sun pillars: a computer modeling process reveals a new explanation for the vertical column of light sometimes seen passing through the sun,” Am. Sci. 60, 292–302 (1972).

Ann. Phys. (1)

K. Stuchtey, “Untersonnen und lichtsäulen an Sonne und Mond,” Ann. Phys. 364, 33–55 (1919).

Appl. Opt. (9)

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (1)

J. Opt. Soc. Am. A (1)

Meteorologische Zeitschrift (1)

C. F. Bottlinger, “Über eine interessante optische erscheinung bei einer ballon fahrt (An interesting phenomenon seen during a balloon trip),” Meteorologische Zeitschrift 25, 74 (1910).

Nature (1)

F. Schlesinger, “Elliptical lunar halos,” Nature 91, 110–111 (1913).
[Crossref]

Opt. Photonics News (1)

J. A. Shaw, “Glittering light on water,” Opt. Photonics News 10(3), 43–45 (1999).
[Crossref]

Phys. Educ. (1)

M. Vollmer and J. A. Shaw, “Brilliant colours from a white snow cover,” Phys. Educ. 48, 322–331 (2013).
[Crossref]

Rep. Prog. Phys. (1)

K. Libbrecht, “The physics of snow crystals,” Rep. Prog. Phys. 68, 855–896 (2005).
[Crossref]

Sci. Am. (1)

D. Lynch, “Atmospheric halos,” Sci. Am. 238, 144–152 (1978).
[Crossref]

Weather (2)

J. Hakumäki and M. Pekkola, “Rare vertically elliptical halos,” Weather 44, 466–473 (1989).
[Crossref]

J. O. Mattson, “Sub-sun and light-pillars of street lamps,” Weather 28, 66–68 (1973).
[Crossref]

Other (8)

A. B. Fraser, (personal communication, 2017).

R. S. Scorer, Clouds of the World (Stackpole, 1972). [The Bottlinger’s ring photograph is in Plate 13.3.11.]

http://www.atoptics.co.uk/fz408.htm .

J. A. Shaw, Optics in the Air: Observing Optical Phenomena Through Airplane Windows (SPIE, 2017).

R. Greenler, Rainbows, Halos, and Glories (Elton-Wolf, 2000).

W. Tape, Atmospheric Halos (American Geophysical Union, 1994).

W. Tape, Atmospheric Halos and the Search for Angle X (American Geophysical Union, 2006).

D. Lynch and W. Livingston, Color and Light in Nature, 3rd ed. (Thule Scientific, 2010).

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Figures (14)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. The subsun is a bright specular reflection of the sun from the faces of nearly horizontally oriented ice crystals. It appears at the same angle below the horizon as the solar elevation angle above the horizon. Here, a parhelion (or sundog) is also visible to the right of the sun.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Slightly vertically elongated subsun visible below the clouds near the Gallatin River and Highway 191 in southwestern Montana, near or inside the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park (5 November 2013, 0813 MST = 1513 UTC).
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. First hint of Bottlinger’s rings photographed over Ogden, Utah, with 44 mm focal length (5 November 2013, 0845 MST = 1545 UTC).
Fig. 4.
Fig. 4. Nearly full Bottlinger’s rings display photographed over Ogden, Utah, with 56 mm focal length (5 November 2013, 0846 MST = 1546 UTC).
Fig. 5.
Fig. 5. Full display of Bottlinger’s rings photographed over Ogden, Utah, with 56 mm focal length (5 November 2013, 0846 MST = 1546 UTC).
Fig. 6.
Fig. 6. Fading Bottlinger’s rings photographed over Ogden, Utah, with 50 mm focal length (5 November 2013, 0847 MST = 1547 UTC).
Fig. 7.
Fig. 7. Last view with a hint of Bottlinger’s rings over Ogden, Utah, with 22 mm focal length (5 November 2013, 0847 MST = 1547 UTC).
Fig. 8.
Fig. 8. Vertical profiles of air temperature and dew point temperature from a radiosonde launched from the Salt Lake City airport at 1200 UTC on 5 November 2013, 3 h and 46 min prior to the Bottlinger’s rings observation (courtesy of the University of Wyoming Atmospheric Sciences Department).
Fig. 9.
Fig. 9. Surface meteorological data for 5 November 2013 at the Salt Lake City Airport ( 45    km south of the Bottlinger’s ring observations).
Fig. 10.
Fig. 10. Profiles through key sections of the halo display in Fig. 3.
Fig. 11.
Fig. 11. Profiles through key sections of the halo display in Fig. 4.
Fig. 12.
Fig. 12. Profiles through key sections of the halo display in Fig. 5.
Fig. 13.
Fig. 13. Profiles through key sections of the halo display in Fig. 6.
Fig. 14.
Fig. 14. Profiles through key sections of the halo display in Fig. 7.

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