The amazing 'Brocken Spectre'

Early last February local photographer Sean Tomkins found himself walking along a very foggy Atlantic coast in County Clare.

When there was no sign of the fog clearing, he decided to walk up to the 214m high Cliffs of Moher, which he thought would be above the fog.

Sure enough it was but standing at the cliff edge he was amazed at what awaited him.

A "Brocken Spectre" is a rare optic phenomenon when a person standing on a higher altitude with the sun directly behind him can see his own shadow cast onto a cloud at a lower level.

The shadow is surrounded by rings of coloured light- the Brocken Spectre or Glory caused by both diffraction and diffusion of light at the small fog droplets.

Historically there were many sightings in the Harz Mountains in Germany and at the highest peak there called Brocken.

(Sean can be contacted at [email protected] )

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