Letter | Published:

Parhelia in the Mediterranean


ON the morning of the 27th inst. a curious sight was witnessed at this place. I was sailing on the Mediterranean, and the day was hot and sunny. A slight haze came on, and about noon a large halo with an orange tint surrounded the sun. Shortly afterwards two mock suns appeared, one on each side of the ring round the central sun. They were also tinged with an orange colour, and appeared to have comet-like tails. Reflected in the still blue water they were even more distinct than when looked at direct, as the water cut off the sun's rays. This singular spectacle lasted more than an hour, and was seen by many. The boatmen predicted bad weather, but it has not yet come. All through January we have had brilliant summer days, with cold starlight nights—the minimum thermometer descending to 38° and 36° almost every night. I send you a very rough sketch of the mock suns.

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