Select the window seat on an airplane if you are travelling around sunset, and you may witness an optical phenomenon. I was thrilled to see this sight last week, although I had no idea what it was. After coming home, I learned that my observation from 37,000 feet above earth, the shadow of the airplane upon clouds and a multicolored light halo surrounding that shadow is called a glory.
A glory! One of the most beautiful meteorological sights, its iridescent rings are not those of a rainbow, but an effect known as a glory. They are named this because the halo of brightly colored circles resemble a saints halo.
What Causes Glories?
The effect is believed to happen due to classical wave tunnelling, when light near the water droplet tunnels through the air inside the droplet … and is emitted backwards. The glory can only be seen while the observer is directly between the sun and the cloud refracting water droplets. Hence, it is commonly observed while airborne, from mountains or tall buildings. According to physicist H. Moyses Nussenzveig, “The inescapable conclusion is that Glories are a macroscopic light-tunneling effect.”
The colorful halo always surrounds the observers own shadow (in my case, the airplane’s shadow). Interestingly, in China it is called Buddha’s light, showing the observers personal enlightenment associated with Buddha. Nope, I’m neither.
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
I’m not singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic just yet. Being the prophetic person I am, always wondering what God is saying through unusual events, nature, people, etc … I began asking Him what this sighting meant. At first I concluded He just wanted to delight my heart out of the extreme goodness of His fatherly nature. But then this morning I read Brian Simmons blog where the Lord said, “I will give you eyes to see, and you will see My glory!” Ah-ha! It made perfect sense as I read it Be the Voice of Hope for Your Family.
“I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory,” wrote Maya Angelou.
What a glorious and fun God we serve! Since you have read this, now you, too have seen a glory. Will you join me in expecting to see God’s glory poured out on the earth in miraculous ways in the days to come?
If you want more, here is a video I found online