Halo

Image credit - Michael Glanznig - CC-BY-SA

Image credit – Michael Glanznig – CC-BY-SA

1 22°-halo, 2 Parhelia (Sundog), 3 Sun pillar, 4 Parhelic Circle, 5 Circumzenithal Arc, 6 Tangent arcs and Circumscribed Halo, 7 46°-halo, 8 Subsun

Cloud of the Day – Halo

Image credit - Rudy23 - CC-BY-SA

Image credit – Rudy23

Image credit - Andrzej Barabasz - CC-BY-SA

Image credit – Andrzej Barabasz – CC-BY-SA

A meteorological halo, also called nimbus, icebow and gloriole, is a product of sunlight or moonlight being refracted by ice crystals in the atmosphere. Although a halo can often be seen around an artificial light, such as a street lamp, the real ones form in cirrostratus clouds 5-10 kilometers above the ground. Due to the refractive index of the ice crystals, the halo forms 22 degrees away from the light source. Sometimes a second one can be seen at 46 degrees. As long as the ice crystals extend far enough and the Sun or Moon is at least 22 degrees above the horizon, the halo is always circular.

Public domain

Public domain

Public domain

Public domain

In addition to their beauty, haloes are also used in weather lore. Since the presence of cirrostratus is often a harbinger of lowering cloud, they can be used to forecast approaching weather.

Lunar

Image credit - Humberto Romero - CC-BY-SA

Image credit – Humberto Romero – CC-BY-SA

Image credit - nuno morao - CC-BY-SA

Image credit – nuno morao – CC-BY-SA

rjb

  

About Jim Bowering

Jim has fought forest fires and controlled traffic in the air and on the sea. Now he writes stories.
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2 Responses to Halo

  1. emmylgant says:

    Oooh I am going to sound so smart when I explain that phenomena!
    Wonderful photos Jim!
    Glad you are back.

  2. Pingback: Corona | Green CometGreen Comet

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