Incredible 'angel in the sky' caught on camera thanks to weather phenomenon

The "brocken specter" photographed by Lee Howdle.

A man out hillwalking in the U.K. has captured stunning photos of a weather phenomenon that has been compared to an “angel in the sky.”

Lee Howdle was out walking in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire, central England last week when he noticed the spectacular misty shadow, according to news agency SWNS.

Howdle, a keen photographer, snapped images of the amazing scene with his Canon 5d Mk4 camera. “My shadow looked huge. It was in this circular rainbow,” he told SWNS. “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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The phenomenon is known as a “brocken specter” or “mountain specter” and is among the “top ten spookiest weather conditions” listed by the U.K.’s Met Office. 


The incredible images were captured in the U.K.'s Peak District National Park.

“This effect is produced when an observer stands above the upper surface of a cloud – on a mountain or high ground – with the sun behind them,” it explains on its website. “When they view their shadow the light is reflected back in such a way that a spooky circular ‘glory’ appears around the point directly opposite the sun.”

The EarthSky website explains that the shadow cast in the weather phenomenon “may appear enormous and has a ring around it.”

SWNS notes that the phenomenon can be observed in mountainous areas and is named after the Brocken mountain in northern Germany.

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Howdle stood on Mam Tor, a 1,696-foot hill in the High Peak area of the National Park when he saw the unusual “Brocken specter.”

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

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