Have you seen the Glory?


You’ve seen rainbows and you’ve probably seen haloes around the sun or moon and maybe a corona around the moon. Here’s something else to look for but you have to look down, not up and you have to be above the clouds, looking down. It’s called a glory. A glory is a ring or multiple rings of color that share the same center point, in the clouds around the shadow of your head, or around the shadow of the airplane that you are flying in.

Like a rainbow, a glory shows the 7 colors of the spectrum. The sunlight has to be coming from behind you when you see the glory in front of you. It tells you that the clouds are made of water droplets.

It’s all about light refracting, or bending as it enters the water droplets of the clouds, bouncing on the inside of the droplets, and then coming back to your eye. The refraction is what separates the light into 7 colors.

Isn’t a glory glorious?!

Read more of the science for how a glory is formed. Here are more images from NASA, and here’s an example where you might see a glory from on top of a mountain!


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