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Monday, May 24, 2010

7 Phenomenol Wonders (cont...)


Like light pillars, sundogs are the product of light passing through crystals. The particular shape and orientation of the crystals can have a drastic visual impact for the viewer, producing a longer tail and changing the range of colors one sees. The relative height of the sun in the sky shifts the distance the sundogs appear to be on either side of the sun. Varying climactic conditions on other planets in our solar system produce halos with up to four sundogs from those planets’ perspectives. Sundogs have been speculated about and discussed since ancient times and written records describing the various attributes of our sun date back the Egyptians and Greeks.

Fire Whirls

Fire whirls (also known as fire devils or tornadoes) appear in or around raging fires when the right combination of climactic conditions is present. Fire whirls can be spawned by other natural events such as earthquakes and thunderstorms – and can be incredibly dangerous, in some cases spinning well out of the zone of a fire itself to cause devastation and death in a radius not even reached by heat or flame. Fire whirls have been known to be nearly a mile high, have wind speeds of over 100 miles per hour and to last for 20 or more minutes.

Orange Moon

This last phenomena is something most people have seen before – beautiful orange moon hanging low in the sky. But what causes this phenomena – and, for that matter, does the moon have a color at all? When the moon appears lower on the horizon, rays of light bouncing off it have to pass through a great deal more of our atmosophere which slowly strips away everything but yellows, oranges and reds. The bottommost image above is true to the hues of the moon but has enhanced colors to more clearly show the differences in shade that illustrate the mixed topography and minerology that tell the story of the moon’s surface. Looking at the colors in combination with the craters one can start to trace the history of impacts and consequent material movements across the face of our mysterios moon.

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