Walker captures extraordinary weather phenomenon showing ‘angel in the sky’

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
The rare weather phenomenon that appears to show a ghostly 'angel in the sky' at the centre of a rainbow-like halo (SWNS)

These spectacular images show a rare weather phenomenon that gives off the appearance of a ghostly “angel in the sky” at the centre of a rainbow-like halo.

Hill walker Lee Howdle, 33, was traversing the Peak District when he looked down and noticed the spectacular misty shadow on Friday last week.

The effect is a rare phenomenon called a "brocken spectre" – which occurs when a person stands above the surface of a cloud with the sun behind them.

The natural effect is a large shadow of an observer cast onto cloud or mist (SWNS)

Mr Howdle had travelled to Mam Tor, a 517 metre hill near Castleton, in the High Peak area of Derbyshire, when he was able to snap the breathtaking images.

The Tesco store manager, of Langley Mill, described seeing the phenomenon as a “special moment”.

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He said: “Mam Tor is much higher, and above the clouds. As I was going up Mam Tor, by chance, I looked to the left side of me and there was a brocken spectre.

“My shadow looked huge. It was in this circular rainbow. I took some photos of it and carried on walking. It was like an angel in the sky over the hills, it was quite magical.

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“As I was walking, I saw a sheep and the effect was around the sheep as well.”

He added: “I have never seen this before in my life. I read about it once on the internet. It’s really amazing and I feel very blessed to have captured such a magical moment."

Lee Howdle described seeing the phenomenon as a 'special moment' (SWNS)

The natural effect, also known as a “Brocken bow” or “mountain spectre”, is a large shadow of an observer cast onto cloud or mist. It has been associated with folklore and superstition for centuries.

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The phenomenon is often observed on mountain peaks and is named after the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains of Germany.

According to the Met Office, light is reflected back in such a way that a spooky circular glory appears around the point directly opposite the sun when the viewer sees their own shadow.

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