Snapshot Serengeti Talk

White Dots

  • Antarctica09 by Antarctica09

    What are these? Are they fireflies or similar or are they just some sort of lens artefact?


  • davidbygott by davidbygott moderator

    These are raindrops. Note they all seem to be moving vertically. But why do they look as though they are flying upwards? Perhaps that is a flash artefact - e.g. the flash intensity starting very bright and dimming before it quits. Someone with more tech knowledge could probably explain better.


  • tillydad by tillydad moderator

    I believe that it is because the raindrops are falling at terminal velocity and the flash is capturing the position of it when it first operates and the "tail" appears as the raindrop continues falling at full speed within the duration of the flash itself. The full raindrop has not travelled sufficiently to appear as a sphere and we see the "tail" as the first part of the movement of the raindrop.

    I hope that this helps and that I have explained it clearly enough 😃


  • aliburchard by aliburchard scientist, translator

    @tillydad that was a fantastic explanation...thanks 😃