ice halos and other optics

Rare 44° parhelion in Stockholm

David Åsbrink took these photos of a diamond dust halo display in Stockholm on 8 December 2010. The phenomenon was noticed by many people. In addition to being a bright and beautiful display this one contains also a rarity: inside the 46° lateral arc there is a weak colored spot, the 44° parhelion. It is marked in the third image with an arrow. 44° parhelia are the parhelia of very bright normal parhelia and they were photographed first in 1970 in Canada’s Saskatoon. Since then about 13 more photographed cases have accumulated. These days it seems like we are getting at least one photographed case every winter. The solar elevation for these photos was 8 degrees.

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