Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Rainbows and fogbows

Taken by Melvin Nicholson on a Scottish Moor
I found this amazing picture of a "fog bow" while looking for something in particular to tell a story of a skydive I made many years ago. I got it from this article in the Daily Mail. It also describes how a fog bow is formed.
A fog bow is a colourless rainbow made up of tiny water droplets that cause fog. Due to the small size of the water droplets it has very weak colours, with a red outer edge and bluish inner edge.
I was looking to see if anybody had ever captured a picture of a phenomenon that I saw on a skydive long ago. Skydivers are not supposed to intentionally jump through clouds, but sometimes it happens and there's not much you can do about it, once you're out of the airplane and in freefall. The sun was directly behind me, with a solid-looking cloud underneath me. As I got closer, I saw my shadow, and around the shadow of my body was a rainbow. I was close enough to see each separate finger before I closed my eyes tight, since it looked like I was approaching something solid! But poof, all I felt was the coolness of the cloud.

When I opened my eyes, I saw the cloud dissipating and the ground coming into focus. I quickly looked at my altimeter to make sure I still had time before I needed to deploy my parachute. Yes, I was fine, but I had seen something I will never forget: my shadow on a cloud, with a perfect halo all around it.
:-)

15 comments:

  1. Wow! What an awesome experience you had. I have to say I've never even heard of a fogbow. I've heard of a moonbow though I've never seen one of those either. That is an amazing photo!

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  2. Key thing here is halo. We quite often see airplane shadow. You know I thing I would freak if I saw a shadow like that. I would thing somebody is very close to me.

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  3. Loved your story of the sky dive experience. It must be so thrilling. The adrenalin rush must be incredible

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  4. Cool! Not something most of us will ever get to see.

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  5. Wow! What an amazing thing to see and with your shadow cast against it as well!

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  6. I've never heard of a fogbow before so your post was very interesting. And what an experience parachuting through one!

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  7. We need a lot more rainbows these days no matter how they come about...:)

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  8. Wow, what an amazing experience you had and so beautifully described. Where was Go Pro when you needed it? Can't ever hope to feel your experience but maybe a fog bow from the ground? I'll shoot for that.

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  9. I've never heard of a fog bow or seen anything like it. Your experience sounds exciting and frightening at the same time.

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  10. No I haven't seen a fog bow. Sounds like a beautiful experience! :)

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