Offbeat

By Jack Williams


A stunned photographer has captured a rare optical phenomenon, as the shadow of a plane appears to be heading straight through a ‘saint’s halo’ rainbow.

In Melissa Rensen’s eye-catching images, shot from her window seat, the colourful concentric circles first appeared, before the shadow of the aircraft later passed right through them.

MELISSA RENSEN / CATERS

The phenomenon is known as a glory, which occurs when sunlight or moonlight then interacts with water droplets that make up either mist or clouds.

Melissa, 55, from Ontario, Canada, captured the images last month when flying from Cayo Coco, Cuba, to Pearson International Airport, in Toronto.

MELISSA RENSEN / CATERS

Melissa, who captured the shots last month, said: “Anyone who has seen it has been amazed – they’d never seen anything like it before.

“They cannot believe that I once again I came across something that most people don’t witness.

MELISSA RENSEN / CATERS

” You see, several years ago I took some photos of what looked like a rainbow above the clouds, that was quite controversial, turned out to be another phenomenon called stress polarisation.

“I guess I’m fortunate to witness and capture these occurrences.”