Letter | Published:

Coloured Solar Halos

Naturevolume 13page426 (1876) | Download Citation



SOLAR Halos such as described by Dr. Frankland (NATURE, vol. xiii, p. 404), may be seen on about seventy-five or eighty days in the year, here, and are commonest in the spring, but it is extremely rare for them to be brightly coloured. I speak of the ordinary solar halo of about 22° radius, but the great halo of about 46° radius, is always distinctly coloured, though not a common phenomenon. It is not the “murky atmosphere” of London that hides the colours of the ordinary halo; they usually do not exist, except dull red and orange, and perhaps a faint tinge of blue. This is owing to the great breadth of the halo, which causes the colours to overlap and mix together; here it is very seldom that the halo is narrow and the colours consequently bright, as they seem to have been when seen by Dr. Schuster (p. 394). I doubt whether the name “parhelia,” which he gave them, is correct; I understand that term to mean mock suns (or a bright small portion of a halo), a phenomenon visible here on thirteen days in a year on the average.

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  1. Sunderland



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