Early one morning in 1735, a small group of people were gathered on top of a mountain in the Peruvian Andes. They belonged to a French scientific expedition, led by Bouguer and La Condamine, that had been sent out to measure a degree of longitude; a Spanish captain named Antonio de Ulloa accompanied them. What they saw on this occasion was, according to Bouguer [1]9 “a phenomenon which must be as old as the world, but which no one seems to have observed so far… A cloud that covered us dissolved itself and let through the rays of the rising sun… Then each of us saw his shadow projected upon the cloud… The closeness of the shadow allowed all its parts to be distinguished: arms, legs, the head. What seemed most remarkable to us was the appearance of a halo or glory around the head, consisting of three or four small concentric circles, very brightly colored, each of them with the same colors as the primary rainbow, with red outermost…”. Ulloa, who gave a similar decription and also drew a picture of what he observed, added: “The most surprising thing was that, of the six or seven people that were present, each one saw the phenomenon only around the shadow of his own head, and saw nothing around other people’s heads…”


Surface Wave Edge Domain Multiple Internal Reflection Shadow Side Geometrical Resonance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Khare
    • 1
  • H. M. Nussenzveig
    • 2
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für StrömungsforschungGöttingenWest Germany
  2. 2.Instituto de FísicaUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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