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No. 2: January 1978

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Fast-moving dark bands cross halo

December 15, 1976. Chelmsford, Essex, England. At 1505 GMT, two groups of closely spaced grey bands were seen crossing the upper arc of contact of a 22 halo from left to right. The first group lasted 10 seconds, with a 15-second quiescent period before the second group. The second group lasted about 5 seconds. About 30 straight parallel, regularly spaced bands appeared during the first observation. Moving steadily, they took 2 seconds each to cross the arc of contact.

The most likely cause of the phenomenon was thought to be changes in the orientation of the ice crystals that created the upper arc of contact. However, the author could suggest no physical mechanism for producing such unusual motion in the ice crystals.

(Burton, B.J.; "Fast-Moving Dark Bands Crossing the Arc of Contact," Journal of Meteorology, (U.K.), 2:233 1977.)

From Science Frontiers #2, January 1978. 1978-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987