The fuzzy patch of light near the top of the picture is a halo phenomenon called an upper tangent arc. I grabbed the snap from Dunbar station while dashing for a train. Despite keeping a lookout for halos (see previous posts here, here, here, and here), and despite the fact that it is supposed toContinue reading Off at a tangent
I got a nice view of the Earth’s shadow on the sky this evening. As usual with these things, there is a good explanation on the atmospheric optics web site, together with a photo taken in a rather more exotic location. The background in my photo is not a Chilean volcano; it is the ratherContinue reading Earth Shadow
I mentioned a year or three ago that we are moving to the use of python, with the numpy and matplotlib packages, for teaching scientific computing. I also mentioned that I was having to do some learning myself as I have used R for this purpose over the last few years. A thing that happensContinue reading Dots and snakes.
As in previous years, I judge how warm 2016 was by whether the grapes on my grape vine have bothered to ripen. Right now is the time to check, as we are well into November, and have had the first serious frosts. At least some of the grapes had ripened when I took this pictureContinue reading A good year?
A friend of mine who is on holiday in Cape Cod recently posted this nice picture on Facebook and remarked that they seem to have flat rainbows in that part of the world. Spotting unusual rainbows and halos is one of my hobbies (see earlier posts here, here, here and here), but this wasContinue reading Flat rainbows
I’m working at home today, ostentatiously in order to get some quiet time to think about the improvements we are making to the third year of the geophysics degree. Really, the reason was to give myself a chance to observe today’s transit of Mercury from the comfort of my own home. I was not atContinue reading Transit of Mercury
We are coming to the end of the semester, which means that we have done the pilot balloon experiment again (see previous posts here and here). The weather was splendid on the Monday … and not that bad on the other two days. This is Thursday’s balloons, all ready for the off. I never getContinue reading Up on the roof
It is innovative learning week again, so, as in previous years, I joined the meteorological walk up Arthur’s seat. Here we are, measuring the temperature and pressure at the summit trig point. The atmosphere was in hydrostatic equilibrium just as much as in 2014 and 2015: (see 2014 post for details). If anything, the points formContinue reading ILW: nice weather for a change
Along with nearly everyone else in Scotland, I saw the Great Nacreous Cloud Display of 2016 this morning and yesterday evening. Yesterday (Monday 1 Feb), I only saw the clouds briefly before the light faded. But this morning at sunrise the clouds were there again as I waited for the train Infuriatingly, the most dramaticContinue reading Nacreous Clouds
As I noted earlier in the year, we didn’t have a stellar summer. And the whole-season climate-integrating device confirms it: The grapes this year went directly from hard and green to sad and wrinkled, never becoming edible at all. The eating apples, on the other hand, have had a stellar year; how well they doContinue reading Apples and grapes