South Pole ~ January 11, 1999

Fine halo displays occur all over the world but the polar regions get the really exquisite ones.

Marko Riikonen of Finland photographed this extraordinary display while researching halos at the South Pole during the Antarctic summer of 98/99 together with Jarmo Moilanen and Marko Pekkola. The great January 11th display was formed by low level diamond dust ice crystals and lasted 50 minutes. There were a great many rare arcs and those from Parry oriented crystals were among the best, if not the best, ever photographed.

Marko Riikonen's three fisheye images capture the sunwards sky, the whole sky centered on the zenith and halos in the anthelic direction opposite the sun. Larger images are on the next three pages. What happened in those 50 minutes is worth long and careful study. Mouse over the "Halo key" to identify the individual halos.

All the South Pole images ©Marko Riikonen, shown with permission.