Ed Stockard sent the above picture of night-time light works at Summit Station, Greenland, to the folks at Atmospheric Optics, a site devoted to the study of how light bends (not to put too fine a point on it). Several of Ed's photos showing "multi-ringed glories, coronae and ghostly fogbows" (as they are so lyrically described on the Web site's "About" page) were selected as the Optics Picture of the Day.
The really cool thing about this site is that Les Cowley, site administrator, actually annotates the pictures to identify the phenomena and explain how they are likely formed. Check it out!
Meanwhile, Ed is preparing to leave Summit Station in about a week or so, once he and the rest of the winter phase one staff turn over their tasking to the fresh staff of phase two. That team of five is now in Kangerlussuaq, waiting to fly tomorrow by Twin Otter over the ice sheet and into the U.S. National Science Foundation-managed station.
When Ed sent his last batch of photos, he reflected on the time he's spent at Summit this fall, and how the photo ops exceeded even his wildest dreams: "This season has been an optical delight. The Summit skies have tossed more at us than I expected or hoped for. I had hoped for auroras at night and halos, arcs and sun dogs during daylight. We got it and got it good! What I hadn't expected were moon related arcs, halos and moon dogs. I hadn't expected moon related fog bows. In fact I decided to dedicate a whole set on my flickr page which I call Ed's Optics!"
You can view Ed's Optics on his CoastalEddy flickr site . Meanwhile, enjoy one more peak through Ed's viewfinder of the kaleidoscope over Summit Station. --Kip Rithner