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The two ships see a parhelium, 4 June 1596


The two ships see a parhelium, 4 June 1596

Veer, Gerrit de

The journal of Gerrit de Veer describes how on 4 June 1596, on 71 degrees northern latitude, a ‘wondrous celestial sign’ was observed. The drawing and descriptions make clear that they saw a parhelium (also known as ‘sun dogs’), a optical phenomenon caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere.

The image shows the two ships, still together at this stage of the expedition, with the parhelium between them in the sky.

From the Wahrhafftige Relation, the German version of Gerrit de Veer’s journal, published in 1598. (See under ‘documentation’ for details.)

Please contact Rijksmuseum Amsterdam for reuse and copyrights.

Sources and literature

Veer, Gerrit de, Om de Noord: de tochten van Willem Barentsz en Jacob van Heemskerck en de overwintering op Nova Zembla, zoals opgetekend door Gerrit de Veer (1598)

Veer, Gerrit de, Warhafftige Relation. Der dreyen newen unerhörten seltzamen Schiffart so die Holländischen und Seeländischen Schiff....Anno 1594, 1595 und 1596 verricht (NG-1979-564) (1598)