Letter | Published:

Light Phenomenon

Nature volume 30, page 194 | Download Citation



THIS evening towards sunset, at 7.55 p.m., there was a column of light extending from the upper part of the setting sun to about 20°, the column being truncated and perpendicular to the horizon. After remaining thus for about two minutes, the sides of the pillar lost somewhat of their perpendicularity, and, with the whole volume of the sun, put on prismatic colouring, the ray (a single one, and still truncated) at times appearing to be a wave of flame. I observed this, with four or five other persons, from the cliffs, and should like to know if the peculiarity of this sunset was observed by others. It continued until 8.20 p.m., when the sun was below the horizon, and the wave of flame ceased. I can hardly better describe this ray than as being very like a northern light, only extremely circumscribed in size, and intensely brilliant.

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  1. Falmouth, June 21

    • R. D. GIBNEY


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