Monday 8 October 2012

Hot Air Heiligenschein

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Ron Barnby (Jazz drummer & retired teacher) videoed some rather nice reflective and refractive optical effects from a hot air balloon recently. He also mentions the silence....

The first clip shows the shadow of the balloon as it takes off from a dew laden field next to the 15th century Witton Castle. The glow around the balloon's basket is an optical phenomenon called heiligenschein. When we arrived in the  early morning to unpack the balloon, the grass was frosty. As the sun cleared the trees, the frost melted and the droplets of water were held just above the leaf surfaces by hairs. This separation of the spherical droplets from the surface is critical for the production of a heiligenschein. The droplets act as lenses and refract the sun's rays to individual foci on the leaves. The bright focal points are then observed, via the same water lenses, by the balloonists looking at the shadow.

The other two clips show simple reflections on flooded farmland.

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Unrelated to this post, below is an example of
eclectic science esoterica 

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WARNING - Many subjects outlined within this site are extremely dangerous and are provided here for information only. Please don`t experiment with high voltages or chemicals unless you are fully conversant with safe laboratory practices. No liability will be accepted for death, injury or damage arising from experimentation using any information or materials supplied.