Lunar coronae

The past weeks have been extremely busy with tours, preparations, studies and last but not least family time. Oh, and some other projects but I will talk about those another time.

A few days ago I returned from a tour in Lapland. Most nights were cloudy but luckily we also saw auroras. But that wasn’t all, the moon gave us a special show. The nights were around -15..-25C and fog pads were in the air. Due to the cold temperature it consisted of ice crystals. Sometimes the high clouds were just perfect to create multiple moon coronae (at least I think thats the correct term). The colors and shape were very distinct, something totally new for me. For a while I forgot about auroras :D. So, here it is. Winter wonderland under a wonderous moon.

Lunar coronae in Lapland, Finland.

The Belt of Venus

Seems I ran into winter blues in the middle of July, strange thing. And yet, not really – for me. Choosing between -20C and +30C is a no-brainer 🙂 I love the crisp air, the white snow and of course Northern lights in clear nights.

The photo below was taken in Lapland just before sunrise last February. There might be a few things it you may have stared at but never heard of. The pink band on the horizon is called the ‘Belt of Venus’. Its “rosy pinkish arch is visible long after sunset or long before sunrise by backscattering or refracted sunlight due to fine dust particles high up in the atmosphere” (1). The color is a mix of “backscattered sunlight reddened by the atmosphere and the deep blue of the anti-sunward sky”(2).

Below the Belt of Venus is a dark bluish band called ‘Earth’s Shadow’. The name here is rather self-explanatory as it stands  “for the shadow that the Earth itself casts on its atmosphere. This shadow is often visible from the surface of the Earth, as a dark band in the sky near the horizon”(3).

Next time you are out around sunset / sunrise time, check out the sky opposite from the sun. You may see familiar phenomena in the lower sky 🙂

Copyright: Thomas Kast

(1) wikipedia
(3) wikipedia


Surprise after sunset in a June night

Experiencing something unexpected is always an adrenaline rush and the story behind the photo below is no different. In that night I went to Oulunsalo for a nice sunset above the Baltic Sea. The sky was mixed with patches of blue and clouds, some of them containing rain showers. Just as the sun was disappearing behind the horizon, one of those dark cloud made its way right at me. Waiting out the hard rain was a great way to test my jacket which wasn’t all that water proofed as I hoped. The just-after-sunset sky produced then wonderful colours so I kept clicking away. It was then when I noticed a warm glow behind me and I turned around to have a look.

What I saw made my heart race. ‘My’ rain cloud was bathing in sunlight although the sun was below the horizon! And not only that, there was a wonderful pinkish rainbow. I’ve never seen a rainbow after sunset or after midnight! Trying to suck in that moment, my hands were running on autopilot and got busy with the camera. Two photos later then the magic moment passed already and that huge cloud was grey as none of this would have happened. Gotta love nature!

Copyright: Thomas Kast

Rainbow in a June night