Sunday, March 25, 2018: 1:00 P.M. (Central)
I was standing outside this afternoon, looking up at the sky in the most incredible shades of blue with these streaking white clouds, admiring it in amazement when I spotted what I thought to be a small rainbow in the sky. As I traced the rainbow streak with my eyes, to my surprise it was completely encircling the sun. How fascinating! So I ran inside the house to grab my camera to hopefully catch a descent photograph of this optical phenomenon.
This is a 22º halo or sun halo or simply called (I’ll give you one guess), halo. The ring is caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in cirrus clouds within the Earth’s atmosphere. The crystals bend direct sunlight, projecting it elsewhere into the sky, and at a certain angle — you guessed it, 22 degrees — a halo can be seen around the sun. The occasional sighting — similar to a rainbow — is more common in the fall, winter and spring when the northern jet stream descends southward, drawing down Arctic air masses.
In case you missed it, here you go. 🙂