…they are rare. This northern winter season they have been making unforgettable appearances at high latitudes, though. A type of polar stratospheric cloud, they form when unusually cold temperatures in the usually cloudless lower stratosphere form ice crystals. Still sunlit at altitudes of around 15 to 25 kilometers the clouds can diffract sunlight after sunset and before the dawn.
A spectacular (and very rare) ice halo photographed (on an iPhone) by Michael Schneider this month in the Swiss Alps. According to Schneider, the phenomenon developed gradually as fog dissipated at the top of a ski resort.
A short film by cinematographer Chris Bryan, who worked on BBC’s ‘Blue Planet II’, showing the mesmerising crash and surge of ocean waves in slow motion. Sez he:
I love filming in the ocean more than anything, its not just a job, its a passion. And sometimes its nice just to document waves without surfers riding them. The feeling of jumping off the rocks in the dark by myself just to capture the very first rays of light hitting the ocean without another sole in sight is unexplainable, its one of the most amazing feelings ever, its like my own personal therapy.
From top: a fluorescent turtle embryo by Teresa Zgoda (the overall winner) ; a ‘small white hair spider’ by Javier Rupérez; Depth-color coded projections of three stentors (single-cell freshwater protozoans) by Dr Ivor Siwanowicz; cells undergoing mitosis by Jason Kirk; a frozen water droplet by Garzon Christian and a housefly eye by Razvan Cornel Constantin.