Friday, May 14, 2010

Palomar Flies Its Colors

Check out this pic of the dome of the 200-inch Hale Telescope taken yesterday:

The photo was taken with an iPhone by Scott Calman, the observatory's IT guy (I don't know his real title). I am reasonably sure that the photo shows what may be a circumzenithal arc circumhorizon arc. Have we got any atmospheric scientists to lend some more info on this?

Update: Thanks to commenter jg for pointing me to a circumhorizon arc, which seems to be the correct name for this.


jg said...

A circumzenithal arc appears almost overhead and has a pronounced smile shape. Is the perspective greatly distorted by the camera? It may be a circumhorizon arc. One of my favorite websites deals with this phenomena:

You can see a circumhorizon arc on this page:

And, I've bagged a couple circumzenithal's here:

Scott Kardel said...

You are correct jg. I agree that it is most likely a circumhorizon arc.

James Guilford said...

Whoa! Look at the photo I shot from Westlake in Northeastern Ohio Saturday at about 1:00 PM EDT... Same deal!