September 8, 2013

Airplane Shadow, California

Photograph by Avani Agarwal, Your Shot

This Month in Photo of the Day: The Stories Behind Your Shots

"It was a clear and beautiful day as I took off from San Francisco Airport heading eastbound," says Your Shot contributor Avani Agarwal, who spotted the plane's shadow while taking in the city from a window seat. "At first I thought it was another airplane, or some figment of my imagination," Agarwal says, "but I quickly realized it was my airplane's shadow and furiously grabbed for my camera," an iPhone.

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46 comments
Drkamal Mohanani
Drkamal Mohanani

CONGRATULATIONS AVANI YOU HAD TAKEN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PHOTO ,WELL DONE -DRKAMAL MOHANANI

Steven Businger
Steven Businger

The colors surrounding the shadow of the airplane are caused by diffraction of sunlight by uniform cloud droplets.  This optical phenomena is called a glory.  Note that the cause of a glory is different from that of a rainbow.  Rainbows are caused by refraction of sunlight be raindrops.   

Sharonda W.
Sharonda W.

I've seen this before and it wasn't just a shadow of the plane I was on. I wondered the whole ride what I was seeing then I found out as we entered the airspace we were to land in. The halo was directly over where I was sitting. We couldn't land as per the flight plans because a fire had started out of nowhere by the tail of the plane. I was sitting just in front of the wings. As you can see, all went well...but I knew what I saw meant that my life was not about to end.

OAN:I got a chance to meet the Mayor of Cleveland, the Congressman at that time and almost got to see the President on that trip!

Shannon T
Shannon T

I love photos taken from the air.

Keith Nisbet
Keith Nisbet

Based on the location of the Gory, the photographer was sitting in the rear of the plane

M. Yoon
M. Yoon

It looks like shield of airplane

pawan kumar
pawan kumar

right time ,right place,and a perfect shot .my to shoot such apicture

Tomas Bardauskas
Tomas Bardauskas

So, you had your phone on during takeoff, contrary to FAA regulations and the instructions from your flight crew?  This is a nice picture, but that's not a behavior we should be encouraging. 

Jack McCarthy
Jack McCarthy

That is called a "glory".  The glory can only be seen when the observer is directly between the sun and cloud of refracting water droplets. Hence, it is commonly observed whilst airborne, with the glory surrounding the airplane's shadow on clouds (this is often called The Glory of the Pilot). Glories can also be seen from mountains and tall buildings, when there are clouds or fog below the level of the observer. 

Vishal Sanhotra
Vishal Sanhotra

@Ab Algerino Buddy its national geographic ,,,,  not facebook :P ,,,, by the way, when u upload snaps here ,,,, the snaps have signature of the camera they were taken from , so yes, it is not et all fake, and couldn't be !!!

Amit Singh
Amit Singh

@Shree Gurung @Avani Agarwal @Tomas Bardauskas Dear Shree, Raibow is not visible at 10Kft, it is in the clouds which are much below from the actual plane position. And FYI thats not rainbow from sunlight it have to deal something with the currents being generated from Plane flight, thats why it is around plane shadow!

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