A glory, an optical phenomenon in which a circular rainbow appears on a background of water droplets when the sun is directly behind the observer
Glory and cloud horizon
Glory and cloud horizon
Glory and tip of plane wing
Glory and tip of plane wing
The glory, part of the plane wing, framed at bottom by the airplane window
A little further zoomed out
The glory and the plane wing, as the plane shadow begins to be visible
The glory and the plane wing, as the plane shadow begins to be visible
The glory just beneath the furthest hydraulic motor on the wing, with a brilliant blue sky above
The best of the glory pictures
The glory just underneath the wing, with the plane's shadow now unmistakable
After further descent the plane's shadow is now unmistakable
The glory, seen during mostly level flying (original video)
The glory and airplane shadow, seen during descent into the clouds (original video)

…all taken in the waning minutes of my flight from BOSMSP yesterday, returning from MIT‘s Mystery Hunt to the Bay Area (following a long stretch of working and hacking on Mozilla remotely in areas which, in contrast to the Bay Area, have proper winter climes).

For more of this sort of thing, I highly recommend watching the famous “rainbow lecture” given by MIT’s Walter Lewin, the professor under whom I had the pleasure of taking 8.03. And yes, Walter Lewin is my homeboy.


  1. Wow, cool! Took me a while to figure out what was going on in the photos.

    Comment by David Naylor — 20.01.10 @ 14:44

  2. Ah, wish I had known you were in Boston. We could’ve hung out!

    Comment by ispiked — 20.01.10 @ 16:35

  3. [...] is the second time I’ve seen a glory while flying; the first time was on a flight from Boston to Minneapolis last year. Comments [...]

    Pingback by Where's Walden? » Glory II — 08.05.11 @ 23:04

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