'Cool!': Amazing photo shows rainbow halo around Air NZ plane's shadow

  • 02/03/2020

A stunning photo has captured a rainbow ring around an Air New Zealand plane's shadow as it flew over London.

Lucy Shieffelbien shared the photo on a Newshub Facebook group using the plane's onboard Wi-Fi on Friday.

"Cool! Just took off from Heathrow about an hour ago on NZ1. The plane cast a shadow on the clouds which was circled by a rainbow," Shieffelbien captioned the photo.

The photo captures a common optical phenomenon often referred to as 'pilot's glory' or 'pilot's halo'.

An article in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society explains that glories or halos are created by the deflection at an angle of sunlight by tiny droplets of water in the atmosphere.

They don't always form around a shadow like that of a plane, but to see one you have to be directly in between the source of light and the water droplets, which is why they're often seen with shadows.

Have you taken photos or videos of a pilot's glory? If so you can share them in Newshub's Travel Tips and Tricks Facebook group.