Glories from Close and Distant Clouds
These glories were observed on an Atlanta to Toronto flight through clouds which were sometimes very close, sometimes distant. The size of the aircraft shadow depends upon the distance to the cloud, so when the cloud is close, the shadow is large. The size of the glory is determined by the size of the droplets in the cloud since it arises from diffraction from the water droplets. If the droplets are the same size, the glory for close and distant clouds is the same size as viewed by the eye.
Atmospheric optics concepts