Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Three types of orb in one photo

Three orb sizesIn this recently taken photo (right) there are three distinct types of daylight orb, determined by size. There are some tiny ones, looking like white dots, all roughly the same size. Then there are some larger ones, again all roughly the same size, looking grey and resembling the 'classic' orbs. Finally, there are some huge orbs, resembling amorphous blobs, yet again all roughly the same size. There was no flash used for this photo and the orbs were actually visible in the viewfinder at the time of exposure. So what's the cause?

The orbs here are produced by three groups of insects swarming. They were all between the camera and the tree but at different distances, hence their sizes. The closer the insect the larger the orb it produces. The strong illumination, required for orbs, was supplied by the sun.

Why is this of interest? Well, I'm always on the lookout for unusual photos that might be interpreted by someone as anomalous. And when I see a similar 'mystery' photo it becomes much easier to explain by comparing it with an example with a known cause. That's one of the main principles of xenonormal studies. I don't just wait for someone to report an anomaly and then try to explain it, often with inadequate information. Instead I look out for and study likely causes of xenonormal phenomena in advance. I've found the approach very useful.

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