3 in 1

Exploring the "3 in 1" Phenomenon in Atmospheric Optics

Atmospheric optics never fails to amaze with its array of captivating phenomena. One such phenomenon, known as the "3 in 1," involves the antisolar point, also called the subanthelic point. This point, located directly opposite the sun, holds great significance in the world of atmospheric optics. Let's delve into this intriguing phenomenon and uncover its many facets.

The Antisolar Point: A Hub of Atmospheric Optics

The antisolar point is a focal point for a multitude of atmospheric optical phenomena. It serves as a convergence point for sun rays, shadows, and various optical effects, captivating observers with its mesmerizing display.

Convergence of Anticrepuscular Rays and Shadows

One of the fascinating aspects of the "3 in 1" phenomenon is the convergence of anticrepuscular rays and shadows at the antisolar point. Anticrepuscular rays are sunlight that appears to converge on the antisolar point due to perspective. Similarly, shadows cast on the ground and mountains also seem to converge at this point, creating a captivating visual spectacle.

Rainbow Hubs and Other Rare Bows

The antisolar point serves as the center of primary and secondary rainbows, as well as other rare bows that encircle different hubs. These stunning optical phenomena add to the allure of the "3 in 1" phenomenon, showcasing the intricate beauty of atmospheric optics.

Ice Halos and Parry Antisolar

Ice halos, including the elusive Parry antisolar, also intersect at the antisolar point. These ethereal displays of light interacting with ice crystals create stunning halos, diffuse arcs, and even a sharp subparhelic circle. Observing these atmospheric wonders at the "3 in 1" hub is a truly extraordinary experience.

Glows: Real and Perceived

The antisolar point is not only a convergence point for light and shadows but also a focal point for various glows. Among these is the heiligenschein, a glow observed in dew-wetted grass. Additionally, the antisolar point marks the shadow-free spot of the "dry" opposition effect, adding to the intrigue of this optical phenomenon.

Unveiling the Magic of the "3 in 1" Phenomenon

Witnessing the "3 in 1" phenomenon is an exhilarating experience that showcases the awe-inspiring beauty of atmospheric optics. As the sun's last rays illuminate an alfalfa field, anticrepuscular rays and shadows converge, all seemingly pointing to the antisolar point. The presence of a heiligenschein further accentuates the magic of this moment.


The "3 in 1" phenomenon at the antisolar point is a captivating aspect of atmospheric optics. From the convergence of anticrepuscular rays and shadows to the centering of rainbows, ice halos, and glows, this hub of optical phenomena offers a visual feast for those fortunate enough to witness it. Exploring the intricate details and intricacies of the "3 in 1" phenomenon only deepens our appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.

3 in 1 - "Taken Memorial Day, May 31, 2010, at Bishop, California. The last rays of the sun shine on an alfalfa field, with anticrepuscular rays/shadows and foreground shadows all apparently pointing to the anti-solar point marked by a heiligenschein. Hugely exciting to witness." ©Andrew Kirk, shown with permission.

The antisolar point directly opposite the sun, also named the subanthelic point, is a favoured direction for atmospheric optics.

Sun rays and shadows crossing the sky to become �anticrepuscular� appear by perspective to converge there. Ground and mountain shadows do the same.

It is the centre of primary and secondary rainbows. Some rarer bows circle different hubs. Fogbows centre there as does the multi-ringed glory.

It is a focus for ice halos, Parry antisolar, the diffuse arcs and a sharp subparhelic circle all cross it.

It is the place of glows both real and perceived. Of the heiligenschein in dew wetted grass and the shadow free spot of the �dry� opposition effect.

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Reference Atmospheric Optics

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  • "3 in 1". Atmospheric Optics. Accessed on November 30, 2023. https://atoptics.co.uk/blog/3-in-1/.

  • "3 in 1". Atmospheric Optics, https://atoptics.co.uk/blog/3-in-1/. Accessed 30 November, 2023

  • 3 in 1. Atmospheric Optics. Retrieved from https://atoptics.co.uk/blog/3-in-1/.