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5 phenomena that can be observed only from an airplane window

Added Tue, 14/11/2017
Дата публикации
Mon, 13/11/2017

Expert on atmospheric optical effects Les Cowley shared on the NASA portal several of the most interesting effects that can be observed from an airplane window.

1. Gloria

On the side opposite the Sun, you can see the effects associated with it is clouds under the plane can be seen as a canvas that displays all the colors. Cowley noted that if the plane flies low enough, you can see his shadow surrounded by a bright light — one or more rings. These rings are due to diffraction of the reflected in the water droplets of light. The more identical size droplets in the cloud, the more the rings can be seen. This phenomenon is called Gloria (colored rings of light on the cloud around the shadow).

2. The effect of the confrontation

If the aircraft no clouds, then it is possible to observe an optical effect (particularly if the aircraft flies over the pine forests) — a bright spot of light that moves along the ground under the plane. Glow, which is always formed at the point opposite the Sun, marks the point where the shadows of objects, such as trees, completely not visible — these areas thus appear brighter than the surrounding space.

3. Halo

On the Sunny side, you can watch a variety of halo. Ice halos are rings and arches of light, which are formed by ice crystals in high clouds. Usually they can see all colors of the rainbow, but the rainbow they are not. From the ground you need to look up to see them, while on the plane down. Sometimes you can even see the lighting post — band of light that stretches from the Sun. Sometimes, you can see the reflection of the Sun in flat ice crystals in the clouds — substance.

4. The distortion of the Sun and moon

Sunrise and sunset at high altitudes also is special — the speed of the aircraft can make them faster or even slower than usual. In addition, the Sun can appear flattened because its light is refracted 2 times more than usual when passing the dense layers of the atmosphere. During a night flight, you can see the rising of the moon — its distortion and flattening occurs for the same reason.

5. The sky is a rich, dark color

The sky over the aircraft has a more intense blue and purple color — a large part of the earth's atmosphere located under the plane and much smaller than the molecules can dissipate the color of the sun, giving the sky a light blue hue.

Translated by «Yandex.Translator»

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