Migeul Claro (website) captured this scene at the Vale do Tua dark sky site, Northern Portugal. The moon was low in the west and combined its light with cloud droplets to create the ringed glory.?
The scene is from the Ujo viewpoint overlooking the mist strewn Tua valley.?Resembling a saintís halo, the glory happens in rare occasions when moonlight interacts with the tiny water droplets of mist or clouds. Glories have concentric rings successively dimmer. Each is reddish on the outside and bluish towards the centre. Glories are at the antilunar point directly opposite the moon. The shadow of the observerís head converges towards the same point. When the observer is on a mountain the shadow creates the famous "Broken Spectre", an enormously magnified figure surrounding the glory. The name derives from the Brocken, the tallest peak of the Harz mountain range in Germany. ?The site, the Dark Skyģ Vale do Tua, was recently certified as an International Starlight Tourist Destination.
We try - even expect - to understand the world with our everyday experiences.?The Brocken spectre is easily understood. We all know what a shadow is. ?In contrast, the colourful glory is not at all graspable in familiar terms. It is the spectre rather than the Brocken shadow. It mocks us with rays that have impossible paths through watery spheres. It is easily and exactly described by abstract mathematics and reminds us that the world is stranger than we expect but not, perhaps, stranger than we can imagine.?More about glories... ?