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Bishop's Ring

Jane Louise

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  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos
  • Weather Preferences: Thunderstorms :D
  • Location: Cheltenham,Glos

On 27 August 1883, Krakatoa, a small island in the sunda strait between Java and Sumatra, blew up with the loudest sound ever recorded on Earth.The blast was heard 3000 miles (4800 kilometres) away in Africa and the shockwave travelled several times round the world and lowered barometers in London.

Dust from Krakatoa circled the earth and stayed afloat for years, creating stupendously vivid sunrises and sunsets.The dust scattered the light, and with the sun low in the red sky light was reflected back. But the volcanic dust also created beautiful rings of colour around the sun and moon : a bluish-white disc encircled by a red-brown ring.

This phenomenon was called Bishop's Ring after it's discoverer, Sereno Bishop. He saw a strange disc of luminous light fringed with colour around the sun in a hazy sky over Hawaii on 5 September 1883 :

" Permit me to call special attention to the very peculiar corana or halo extending 20 to 30 from the sun, which has been visible every day with us, and all day, of whitish haze with pinkish tint,shading off into lilac or purple against the blue, I have seen no notice of this corona observed elsewhere.It is hardly a conspicuos object"

Soon afterwards, many other observers around the world confirmed Bishop's sighting but with curious differences. Some saw a whitish silvery patch enveloped by a brown border, others saw blue and brown,the rings being of hugely varying sizes.

Copied from -Weird Weather by Paul Simons

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