Paraglider Glory ~ Imaged by Željko Vranic over Istria, Croatia. Images ©Željko Vranic, shown with permission.

We see glories around aircraft shadows, balloon shadows, glider shadows, those of mountaineers and hill walkers and even cruise passengers taking in the air at the ship’s rail. Paragliding provides a further opportunity but please take care!

The common feature is relatively strong sunshine with mist or cloud beneath you in the direction away from the sun.

The glory forms directly opposite the sun. It is small. The shadow is irrelevant except that it sometimes helps locate it when in an airplane.

The small water droplets (1/1000 to 1/10 mm across) of mists, cloud and fog scatter light in all directions. In the same direction as the sunlight they form a corona that appears around the light source. In the opposite direction they form the diffraction dominated version of a rainbow – a huge and diffuse fogbow. And at the antisolar point the droplets backscatter light to produce the much smaller multicoloured ringed glory.

By all means use a paraglider. But you can also produce all these effects and experiment with them on your PC by downloading IRIS!


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