Ok, Im hoping this might be made into a sticky thread for future benefit. I notice a lot of well known (and some not so well known) phenomena here are
misidentified as other things like UFO, nibiru etc. So Ive compiled a list of atmospheric phenomen for ATS members to use as a reference for future
threads or posts. Please feel free to add more pictures here too, as some of the phenomena are extraordinarily beautiful.
Sundogs are a coloured patch of light, or mock sun, that are seen to the left or right, or both sides of the sun. The effect is produced when plate
shaped ice crystals in Cirrus or Cirrostratus clouds diffract sunlight. They are most easily seen when the sun is low on the horizon, which makes them
quite common in extreme northerly and southerly locations. Sundogs usually exhibit colours of red, blue and green, althouh some will only exhibit a
reddish or yellowish colour. They are a quite common phenomena, and have sometimes been mistake as Nibiru here on ATS
22 Degree Circular Halo
The 22 degree circular halo is probably the most commonly seen halo phenomena. Its occurs when hexagonal ice crystals such as those found in sheets of
cirrostratus cloud refract sunlight. Occasionally halos may consist of a coloured band, other times, its not very noticeable. They also occur around
the moon when there is cirrostratus cloud present
The Tangent arc is another halo phenomena which is quite often seen in conjunction with the 22 degree halo (its sits at the top of the circular holo).
It occurs when column shaped ice crystals drift across the sky laying on their sides, or horizontally. It usually occurs during the morning, and the
gull wing shape increases as the sun gets higher in the sky. They can exhibit colours as well. See link for example
Sunpillars are columns of light beaming upwards, and occasionally downwards for the sun. They are experienced during sunrise and sunset when tiny
horizontal ice crystals reflect light. Other sources of light such as bright construction lights and streetlamps can also produce this effect. The
below image has sundogs as well
This looks like an upside down rainbow. It is formed in Cirrus clouds when sunlight enters an ice prism and exits at a 90 degree angle. It never forms
more than a quarter of a circle, and the colours are often much more clearer than the colours in rainbows. It occurs quite often when the sun is low,
and sundogs may also be visible at the same time
A Parhelic circle is a white circle around the sun (although greenish tinges have been known to occur). These occur when vertical hexagonal ice
crystals refract the sun. They are always the same height as the sun, often moving with it if there are enough ice crystlas in the air. Its quite rare
for a full circle to be seen, and most oftenly only fragments are seen. The below link is probably the best picture ever of a parhelic circle
Circumhorizon Arc or Cirumhorizontal Arc
This colourful phenomena occurs within cirrus clouds (plate shaped ice crystals must be present) when the sun is high up in the sky. It can be seen as
a halo, or more often as streaks of bright colours within clouds, and occurs parallel to the horizon. Its commonly mistaken as iridescence (by me a
lot too, lol, will get to that a little later). Locations to far north and south of the equator are less likely to see it as the sun very rarely gets
high enough in the sky for it to occur.
If you ever see one of these I bow down to you. These are so rare that only one or two photos of them exists (see link). It occurs when sunlight
passes through the top face of an plate shaped ice crystal and leaves through the vertical side like a cirumzenithal arc, but is reflected within the
ice crystal, and exits at a 60 degree angle. Because of the rarity of a crystal that does this, it almost never occurs.
Lenticular clouds are a type of altocumulus clouds that occur quite frequently (but not restricted to) hilly or mountainous areas. They are commonly
thought by some people to be UFO's hidden in clouds, due to their lense type shape. The occur when waves of stable air flow over a moutain, if the
temperature at the highest point of the crest of the wave drops below the current dewpoint, then a lenticular cloud will form. As the mosit air
continues to flow, it builds layer upon layer on the lenticular cloud, until it reaches a temperature higher then the dewpoint.
Also known as cap clouds, these form on top of thunderstorm (cumulonimbus clouds) or towering cumulus. They occur when updrafts within these clouds
bring warmer air higher, forcing that it to cool to dewpoint, creating a cap like cloud at the highest point on the cloud. They are a good sign that
there are turbulent winds being created by the cloud. Occasionally on ATS, a certain picture is brought up claiming that a pileus cloud is a UFO
hiding behind a cloud, as they sometimes to appear in that shape. Iridescence is also common in these clouds
That concluded the first part of the thread. I have more phenomena to add shortly. Please feel free to post your own pictures here, Im sure everyone
would love to see them