The spectrum of Brocken, one of the most striking natural phenomena

The spectrum of Brocken, one of the most striking natural phenomena


the Brocken specter is a beautiful and disturbing at the same time optical illusion. The reasons for their existence are due to natural conditions. What has not prevented hundreds of legends arising around.

Suddenly, Johann Esaias Silberschlag was overwhelmed by the image. At the foot of misty Mount Brocken, one of the lowest peaks of the Harz Mountains in Germany, tiny forests, roads and small houses scattered irregularly were. But this landscape was not what had surprised him so much. A huge human figure, gigantic shade made large tracts of land down there . To complete the picture, an incredible rainbow aura surrounding the silhouette. It was his own shadow, projected like a giant powerful on earth, which is silhouetted against a rainbow. The phenomenon inspired him so much that in the coming months studied and described what is now known as Brocken spectrum.


what is the spectrum of Brocken?

This phenomenon, known in German as Brockengespenst or spectrum mountain is shown in the presence of fog or mist, during a sunny day when the sun shines from behind the person who observes. The incident light casts the shadow of the person (or object) forward through the fog. Due to the perspective, figure usually acquires a pointed or triangular shape . But not only that. The secret Brocken spectrum is actually its optical effect. And, as you can see, the image as magnified as you probably saw the Silberchlag in the XIIIV century, it is false. Because results from the projection of the shadow on the screen in front of clouds. But for the illusion makes us think that the shadow is the same distance as the background image (as might be the land of the mountainside). Of course, this does not always happen, as a reference point can spoil the effect. But it is quite easy to perceive the spectrum Brocken as something unnatural due to the high and free perspective of other nearby objects.

to add a touch more romantic, fluid and permanent movement of clouds usually help create an even more powerful illusion, causing sudden movements, as if the ghostly shadow that moved or changed the depth to which it is as if a projector screen in question. In addition, the rainbow aura, known as “glory” gives the image the final touch . These rings are nothing more than a “rainbow” miniature caused by diffraction occurred due to water droplets floating in the atmosphere. Therefore it depends solely on the point of view of the person. We told you how some “special” rainbows form. For the Brocken specter could be considered one more of them, which means that only occurs under certain specific conditions related to the sun, the mist and water droplets floating in the air.

legends and beyond

the Brocken specter has been reflected on countless occasions. But it is associated, especially the Harz mountains. And that can be given anywhere in the world. Why this relationship so intimate? Thanks to Silberchlag, a noted theologian XIIIV century, its magical aspect has fostered and nourished the already prolific legends of Mount Brocken . From this area it comes from the mythical idea of ​​”Walpurgis Night” (by Goethe). From Lewis’s Carroll to Charles Dickens, to Thomas Pynchon and dozens of other authors have reflected this wonderful phenomenon in their works or memoirs.

From Lewis’s Carroll to Charles Dickens, passing by Thomas Pynchon, dozens of authors have spoken spectrum Brocken some has fueled new legends, as Goethe himself, while others have been reflected some of their thoughts in the fleeting image spectrum Brocken. But the oldest and fantastic legends are mixed with modern. It was on this mountain where the first television tower in the world was installed, which broadcast the first Olympic Games: the 1936 Berlin Another fundamental aspect of Mount Brocken and Harz has been recorded fire in memory of its history.

Brocken specter

And this range, starting from north to south, involved the division of Germany into two blocks. And so it was until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Until then, the Brocken was armored and used as a point of espionage and political control . Today there no longer remains the imprint of his political past. However, the mysterious and disturbing atmosphere of magical mountain is invading its visitors. Visit Mount Brocken (and see the specter of the Brocken with our own eyes) remains an almost spiritual experience. A drop in a sea of ​​legends.


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The spectrum of Brocken, one of the most striking natural phenomena
Source: english  
May 27, 2016


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