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Does this look normal to you?


There are many unique visual phenomena that are produced by nature, from the rainbow to more esoteric effects like the anthelic cross or Parry's arc. But unusual sightings are being reported and photographed more frequently and spraying activity is often observed in conjunction with these displays. These effects, like sundogs, for example, can be very striking under the right conditions and could even be disconcerting, if not understood. Some of these light phenomena, and the conditions that produce them, are discussed below.

Ice Crystal Halos and Sundogs

When ice crystals, formed in the upper atmosphere, are precipitating slowly down they can create a field of micro prisms that bends the light in geometric ways. Different orientations and shapes of ice crystals create the Sundog mock-suns, technically known as parihelia, or the circle of light around the sun known as a Sunring or Halo. The size of the ring is governed by the degree by which the light is bent, in this case 22 degrees. If conditions are favorable, with the sun low in the sky, a second 44 degree ring can be seen as the light of the 22 degree ring is bent a second time. Other ring sizes and structures are possible depending upon conditions: 9, 18, 24, and 46 degrees, as well as the Parenthelic Arc seen stretching across the first photo. As the light is passing through the hexagonal ice it creates a rainbow effect with the red-end of the spectrum toward the inner part of the Halo, also the area inside the ring may appear darker than the surrounding sky.

These two natural phenomena are most often seen in very cold climates like Antarctica, but can be seen anywhere given the necessary conditions. These photographs demonstrate ice-based Halos and Sundogs. Click for larger picture and more information.

Antarctica, 1/79

Over the Atlantic, 1/97

Cloud Iridescence

This iridescencent display occurs when sunlight is diffracted by water droplets to create a rainbow effect lighting up the edge of a cloud.

These photographs demonstrate water Cloud Iridescence. Click for larger picture and more information.

Huntsville, AL

Germany, 11/96

Chemring and Chembow

When significant spraying has occurred in an area an aerosol haze can be produced. This haze is made of frozen crystals (or tiny droplets according to some) of the sprayed material and can appear like smog. But, unlike smog and more akin to ice crystals, these chemical crystals can bend the light to create optical manifestations almost identical to Sunrings and Sundogs. These rings have slightly less of the bright rainbow colors than ice-based rings, and sometimes have a brownish "oily" appearance.

These photographs demonstrate Chemrings and Chembows. It must be remembered that the conditions that are favorable to ice Sunrings are the similar to the conditions for normal Contrails, so just because a picture has both doesn't mark it as chemical based. However, for these two photos, the photographers have observed what they consider to be organized spraying. Click for larger picture and more information.

Akron OH, 4/00

Santa Monica CA, 5/00

Chemcloud Iridescence

Chemcloud Iridescence which occurs when sunlight is diffracted by chemical droplets to create a rainbow effect lighting up a segment of a Chemtrail or the edge of a Chemcloud. This phenomena is sometimes called a Chembow, because of the rainbow color aspect, but this term is most applicable to Chemrings because of the circular-shape and rainbow tinged colors.

These photographs demonstrate Chemcloud Iridescence. Click for larger picture and more information.

Oilslick, 1/00

Manitoba, 3/00



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