Sunday, May 07, 2006

Shadow Trident in Clouds

On April 15, I had the chance to observe a shadow trident above the pylon of our wind gauge on Wendelstein mountain (1835 m). When an observer is situated in the shadow of the pylon itself, there are regions above the pylon from where no light reaches the observer`s eye. If there is a “screen” of water droplets (clouds) or ice crystals (diamond dust) above the pylon, these regions can become visible as shadow rays. In my observation, cumulus clouds repeatedly passed rapidly over the top of the mountain and the shadow rays were briefly visible several times.

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