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Perspective and Illusion

54 55 55 halos anD glorIes windows into other worlds The figure opposite is from Flammarions 1888 treatise LAtmosphre and shows one of the most beautiful atmospheric effects in all of nature. Known to the Victorians as a glory, it begins as sun dogs, two rainbow spots 22.5o each side of the sun, and will develop to its full rainbow cross under the right conditions. It is caused by fine ice particles high in the atmosphere. Halos, glories, and rainbows are wonderful reminders that what we see is light, and light alone. Grass looks green but is in fact every colour but green, green being the one colour it reflects and does not absorb. The true nature of objects is hidden from us, the other side of the mirrors that reflect impressions into our eyes and minds. One of the great equations of the 20th century, Einsteins E m c 2, reminds us that matter itself is merely light trapped in a place and time, dancing to laws of geometry and harmony.
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