Following Aftenposten

August 4, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Posted in News, Scandinavia, Wheater | Leave a comment
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The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten publishes regularly an English version, that now it is easily accessible thanks to the RSS feeder. They publish Arctic news like this one, coming straight from Svalbard:

Solar eclipse seen by thousands

Norway has experienced its first solar eclipse since 1954. Spectators gathered round a big screen in Oslo to see pictures relayed from a surveillance plane in the Arctic.

The sun was totally eclipsed when the moon passed in front of it on Friday.


PHOTO: STIG FOSS / LUFTFORSVARET

In Oslo approximately half the sun’s disk was covered by the moon. Further north, increasing parts of the sun were obscured. At Longyearbyen on Svalbard, 93 percent was covered by the moon. Kvitøya, an island North-East of the Svalbard archipelago, experienced a total eclipse for one and a half minutes.

Thousands gathered in Oslo’s Frogner Park to see live television coverage from the Arctic, and to see the local partial eclipse through safety glasses.

I will keep an eye on them, let’s say what they say about Nordic people!

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Sundog Light Phenomenon in Manitoba

July 21, 2008 at 6:22 pm | Posted in Photography, Wheater | 1 Comment
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I just received this at my inbox from National Geographic:


Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, “Refuge in White: Winter in a Canadian National Park,” December 2005, National Geographic magazine

A solar phenomenon known as a sundog arcs over the tundra in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Sundogs are fairly common occurrences in the Arctic and Antarctic. They form when the sun is near the horizon and ice crystals high in the sky line up in a way that bends the solar rays like a prism.

This is amazing, isn’t it? So I continued searching:

A sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, for “beside the sun”) is a common bright circular spot on a solar halo. It is an atmospheric optical phenomenon primarily associated with the reflection or refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. Often, two sun dogs can be seen (one on each side of the sun) simultaneously.

Sundogs typically, but not exclusively, appear when the sun is low, e.g. at sunrise and sunset, and the atmosphere is filled with ice crystal forming cirrus clouds, but diamond dust and ice fog can also produce them. They are often bright white patches of light looking much like the sun or a comet, and occasionally are confused with those phenomena. Sometimes they exhibit a spectrum of colours, ranging from red closest to the sun to a pale bluish tail stretching away from the sun. White sundogs are caused by light reflected off of atmospheric ice crystals, while colored sundogs are caused by light refracted through them. White sundogs are also thought to be caused by the light from the sun reflecting off of water on the ground and focusing the reflected light on the clouds above.

More info on the Wikipedia.

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