Israel ~ March 7, 2007

Left: The display from the Dead Sea by Koby Harati (photography) with the camera looking up almost to the zenith. ©Koby Harati, shown with permission.
The Israel display was seen from sites 40 miles apart and for several hours. The high noon sun of 50+ degrees altitude produced unusual halos and gave the lie to notions that outstanding displays can only be seen in cold weather or Polar regions.

At times a complete parhelic circle ringed the sky cutting through the sun, a 22 degree halo and a circumscribed halo.

Sundogs sat far from the sun.
Unusual Parry arcs were seen and even a rare Lowitz arc.
Right: Pennina Neumann captured the left hand sundog far along an intense parhelic circle and beyond the 22° and circumscribed halos. ©Pennina Nuemann, shown with permission.

For light from a high sun to form a sundog it must be reflected at least twice and an even number of times inside plate crystals.

Parry arcs are usually seen above an upper tangent arc when the sun is fairly low. Here the Parry arc is essentially tangent to the circumscribed and 22° halos and extends outwards to beyond the sundog. There is a vestige of a lower Parry arc too.

HaloSim produced the 30 million ray tracing simulation.

Above: Another image by Pennina Neumann showing a high sun Parry arc and a rare and elusive Lowitz arc.

The Lowitz arc is faintly visible on the image at left. Unsharp masking and embossing, centre, brings out the full lower arc. It appears on four separate images and corresponds well with the HaloSim prediction at right.

Interestingly, the sun's elevation was almost the same as that in St Petersburg when professor of chemistry Tobias Lowitz first recorded the controversial arc in June, 1790. He also saw only the lower arc. The high sun renders the corresponding upper arc weaker but its failure to show could also be due to plate crystals having only limited rotation about the Lowitz axis.

Right: Another view by Koby Harati with a complete parhelic circle and, near the top, upper and lower Parry arcs.
Right: The end of the day by Pennina Neumann.

Parry oriented crystals persisted in the sky to yield (far right) a more often seen low-sun Parry arc.

Parry orientated crystals seem most improbable but this is balanced by their great efficiency in producing halos. Not many of them are needed compared with other crystal orientations.