APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

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APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:05 am

ImageThe Spectre of Veszprem

Explanation: The city of Veszprem, Hungary was only briefly haunted by this mysterious spectre. On the morning of August 11, its monstrous form hovered in the mist above municipal buildings near the town center. A clue to its true identity is offered by the photographer, though, who reports he took the picture from the top of a twenty story building with the rising Sun directly at his back. That special geometry suggests this is an example of an atmospheric phenomenon called the Glory or sometimes "the Spectre of the Brocken". Also seen from mountain tops and airplanes when looking opposite the Sun, the dramatic apparition is the observer's shadow on clouds or fog, the small droplets of water scattering light back towards the Sun through complex internal reflections. Careful night sky watchers can also encounter this spectre's analog in astronomy, a brightening of zodiacal light opposite the Sun known as the gegenschein.

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rochelimit
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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by rochelimit » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:14 am

I have a question. Is this phenomenon visible to all people on street level, or only visible to the observer?

Antony Rawlinson

Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by Antony Rawlinson » Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:35 am

Veszprem has a special significance for me and thousands of others: it was on the line of totality for the 1999 solar eclipse and I was there for the spectacle.

phantom-ofthe-opera

Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by phantom-ofthe-opera » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:31 am

Offering 'scientific' explanations to paranormal phenomenon is like trying to stuff an elephant into a shoebox - both the intent and the means are questionable. If the intent is questionable, nothing can justify the means.
The spectre of Veszprem probably has its own reasons for appearing the way it did. I will not go into this.
What interests me are the explanations concerning water droplets in the atmosphere and its implication for earth-bound astronomical survey.
It is well known by now that the 30 meter telescope is being planned for construction in Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Although the site is above 3000 meters the general location in the middle of an ocean poses problems involving water vapor in the upper atmosphere.
A continental site, somewhere in the western United States, would have been preferable. The terrain of Arizona or Nevada is sufficiently inland to reduce the upper atmospheric water vapor originating from oceanic weather systems. The extraordinary imaging resolution of the Brigham Young observatory in Utah attests to the success of an inland site for astronomical survey. An elevation of 2000 meters for the facility site probably would suffice.
It is hoped that the choice of location for the 30 meter telescope may be revised in accordance with this labored discussion.

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:07 pm

rochelimit wrote:I have a question. Is this phenomenon visible to all people on street level, or only visible to the observer?
It is only visible to the observer. You are essentially looking down your own shadow, and it only shows up because it's hundreds or thousands of meters long from that viewpoint. As you go off-axis, the darkened path becomes so short as to be indistinguishable from the background. Furthermore, the backscattering phenomenon that provides the halo is local to the observer.
Chris

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:10 pm

phantom-ofthe-opera wrote:It is well known by now that the 30 meter telescope is being planned for construction in Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Although the site is above 3000 meters the general location in the middle of an ocean poses problems involving water vapor in the upper atmosphere.
A continental site, somewhere in the western United States, would have been preferable.
These decisions are not made lightly. The air above the telescopes in Hawaii is some of the driest found anywhere. And the airflow in that region provides some of the best seeing anywhere- something not found over North America. Additionally, the number of clear nights at Mauna Kea is greater than found in Arizona or Nevada (and in Arizona, the observatories need to be shut down for at least six weeks each year due to the monsoons). Finally, Hawaii's low latitude is better suited to the science goals of the instrument.
Chris

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by Guest » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:32 pm

phantom-ofthe-opera wrote:Offering 'scientific' explanations to paranormal phenomenon is like trying to stuff an elephant into a shoebox - both the intent and the means are questionable. If the intent is questionable, nothing can justify the means.
The spectre of Veszprem probably has its own reasons for appearing the way it did. I will not go into this.
There is nothing paranormal about this image. The scientific explanation is correct. Anyone putting scientific in quotes ... well, I point out that the Phantom of the Opera was a nutcase with a mask.

I've seen these myself; it's a little spooky the first time ... for about a second; as soon as one moves, it's pretty clear the spectre is the shadow of the viewer.

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by Joules » Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:57 pm

That's one of the best spectre shots I've ever seen, far more impressive than the usual airplane glory.
Optical conditions must have been ideal.
Last edited by Joules on Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by rstevenson » Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:22 pm

phantom-ofthe-opera wrote:Offering 'scientific' explanations to paranormal phenomenon is like trying to stuff an elephant into a shoebox - both the intent and the means are questionable. If the intent is questionable, nothing can justify the means.
The spectre of Veszprem probably has its own reasons for appearing the way it did. I will not go into this. ...
"Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here." *

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by rwlott » Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:06 pm

Intriguing picture. However, in a very aptronymic way, the link to "the Spectre of the Brocken" is broken.

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by sunlight » Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:53 pm

Next time you are on an airplane, if the sun is above the plane; let's say from 10 am to 2 pm position, you can look down at where the shadow of the plane would be and you'll see the same phenomenon reflected on the ground, of course the shape of the person is replaced by the shape of the plane. It's easier to see on desert sand or the ocean where the "background" is more uniform.

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by Boomer12k » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:17 pm

Oh cool....giant shadow puppets....

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by Boomer12k » Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:20 pm

Reminds me of the Running Man Nebula...at least in shape, if not cause...

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by hjfreeland » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:15 pm

That is a GREAT picture. I've seen these spectres before but never been able to get such a good picture as this one.

To answer Rochelimit, because of the alignment required, it is only visible to the person observing it. Otehrs will see similar but different images

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Re: APOD: The Spectre of Veszprem (2014 Aug 23)

Post by NGC3314 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:14 am

sunlight wrote:Next time you are on an airplane, if the sun is above the plane; let's say from 10 am to 2 pm position, you can look down at where the shadow of the plane would be and you'll see the same phenomenon reflected on the ground, of course the shape of the person is replaced by the shape of the plane. It's easier to see on desert sand or the ocean where the "background" is more uniform.
Here's an example (please excuse the ancient quick scan from a slide, with dust and everything) This was from a plane over the Canary Islands, with the ocean covered by low clouds or fog; I increased the contrast a bit to make the glory rings easier to see. You can narrow down pretty well which seat I had to be in to align with the center of the rings.

GloryCanarias021987x.jpg
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