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Brocken Spectre & Glory
Pictured by Bruno David at Pic du Midi, France.
©Bruno David, shown with permission.

As sunlight breaks through mountain fog a monstrous figure looms, the "Spectre of the Brocken". It is the shadow of the photographer projected as a long column through the fog.

The multicoloured rings are a separate and more subtle phenomenon. The individual fog droplets scatter sunlight backwards to form a diffraction pattern, a glory. Glories, whether seen from mountains or airplanes are always centered on the point directly opposite the sun and where the shadow of your eye or camera is located.

Brocken Spectre
Fog droplets