Abstract

As examples of unusual optical phenomena, some observations of multiple suns and moons are described. They are corroborated by photography; older observations now appear to be genuine. A number of examples are further quoted: shadows, reflections, green flash, halo phenomena, rainbows, iridescent clouds, colors in thin sheets of ice, accidental double refraction. Then some observations are made about physiological optics, relating to contrast and to the perception of flicker and colors.

Of these phenomena, many have not previously been described and several explanations are still controversial.

© 1968 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. William Wordsworth, Poetic WorksV., p. 340.

Wordsworth, William

William Wordsworth, Poetic WorksV., p. 340.

Other (1)

William Wordsworth, Poetic WorksV., p. 340.

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Figures (14)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Multiple lunar crescents. After Reimann, Meteorol. Z. 4, 144 (1887).

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Double lunar crescents. Dutch Yearbook on Meteorol. Phenomena 21, 51 (1900).

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Multiple solar images. Photograph by Richard, La Météorologie 4, 301 (1953).

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

One-sided mock sun. Photograph by Mrs. E. S., Weather 21, 250 (1965).

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Shadow of an airplane trail on a lower-lying layer of clouds. Photograph by W. C. Livingstone, Kitt Peak.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Shadow of a mountain on the hazy air. Photograph by W. C. Livingstone, Kitt Peak.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

The ordinary halo of 23°, with mock suns. Photograph by E. Everhart, Mansfield (Conn.).

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

The antisun and the skew arcs through it. Photograph by E. Everhart, Sky and Telescope 21, 14 (1961), reprinted with permission.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Vertical light pillar above one of the feet of the rainbow. Photograph by F. Druce, Meteorol. Mag. 71, 230 (1936).

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

The “glory” on a mist bank. Photograph by J. C. Brandt, NASA.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Clouds showing iridescence. Photograph by Clark, International Cloud Atlas.

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

Contrast triangle, as observed by Martins. Compt. Rend. 43, 763 (1858).

Fig. 13
Fig. 13

Contrast triangle, as found on a commercial folder.

Fig. 14
Fig. 14

Vertical light pillar above a Bessemer converter in Pittsburgh. Photograph by R. G. Florida, Pittsburgh.