Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ice Balls and Sundogs

Driving up Speedwell after work lately I've been seeing sundogs - parhelia - luminous halos near the sun. For the science and art of sundogs, rainbows, glories, coronas and other celestial events, you need to link to this beautiful site: Atmospheric Optics. (Be sure to click "High Atmosphere" on homepage.) Very nice indeed.

We don't have much wilderness to be afraid of anymore. But just to keep our adrenalin flowing, the sky provides plenty to worry about. If it's not flying raptors or radioactive fallout, then it's ultraviolet radiation and ice balls.

Last Sunday morning a hundred pound chunk of ice fell from the sky and crushed a Ford Mustang in Hillsborough County, Florida. OK, first thing you think is airlines, but the airlines say "no, wasn't ours...we dye our water blue...ice wasn't blue.

Maybe the airlines can duck out this time,. After all, it might have been a megacryometeor. Think hail on steroids.

The weather guessers are calling for "wintry mix" tomorrow. Wonder what the odds are for parhelia and megacryometeors.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The scintific study of megacryometeors started on January 2000. There are several scientific articles on the subject.

See for instance:

http://tierra.rediris.es/publipapers/megacryometeors_JAC.pdf

Further information about these unusual ice falls can be found here:

http://tierra.rediris.es/megacryometeors/index2.html

Joan