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Abstract
A glory is one of the optical phenomena best observed from an airplane. It is a small set of colored circles centered on the antisolar point, in the direction directly opposite the sun. To find where the glory should be, imagine a line reaching from the sun, through your head, and extending onward to infinity. During the day, the antisolar point lies below the horizon by the same angle that the sun is above the horizon. This is also the location of the airplane’s shadow, so the glory is actually a small circle of light in or surrounding the airplane’s shadow. A glory has similarities to a corona and has on occasion been referred to as an anticorona, a meaningful description since the glory exists in exactly the opposite region of the sky compared with the corona. Like the corona, a glory can have one or more rings, depending on the size and uniformity of the cloud droplets. Figure 5.2 shows two photographs of glories with multiple colored rings. Figure 5.3 shows a multi-ring glory with a cloudbow to its left. Both the glory and the cloudbow are circles centered on the antisolar point, so you can also think of the glory as a small circle sitting at the center of the much larger circle of the cloudbow. To see both at once requires a cloud with uniform water droplets extending over a large angular region that is visible from your airplane window and not obscured by an engine or wing.
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CHAPTER 5
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