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   About glories  

Glory on Pinnacle Ridge, Pen yr Ole Wen, Wales photographed by John Hardwick in February 1993. It shows the classical appearance of a mountain glory as sunshine breaks through a mist. When the mist is nearby the glory is accompanied by your shadow.  Larger image. ©John Hardwick, reproduced with permission.
Glories can be predicted by Mie scattering calculations as used in IRIS. The matching simulation at upper left shows that the droplets were small, only 10 micron diameter.  
 

G
lories are always directly opposite the sun, centered at the antisolar point and therefore below the horizon except at sunrise and sunset.

Look for them whenever mist or cloud is beneath you and the sun breaks through to shine on it.

Glories can be seen on mountains and hillsides, from aircraft and in sea fog and even indoors.

They are formed when light is scattered backwards by individual water droplets.

They have a bright centre but not nearly as bright as the corona's aureole. Their rings are delicately coloured like those of the corona's, blue on the inside changing through greens to red and purple outside. The ring intensities fall off much more slowly than those of the corona and sometimes three or even four rings are visible.

Shadows converge on the antisolar point and so glories are nearly always accompanied by your shadow or that of the aircraft you are in. When the shadow is grotesquely distorted by perspective it is called a "Brocken spectre".

There are other glows at the antisolar point, the heiligenschein and the opposition effect but these do not have the glory's shimmering rings.
Glory (right) and corona (left) for 20µm dia. droplets - IRIS simulations.