Sun halo

While my brief audience with the SSA last Thursday may have been a waste of time, on the way home I saw something which changed the “flavor” of the day.

As usual, Grant was driving, and as we cruised along route 372 between Greenwich and Cambridge, off to the right I spotted what I thought was a rainbow.

As it had not been raining, I thought this a little unusual, although, since my return East, I seem quite often to see things I never did before.

My eyes are not terribly reliable, and I thought perhaps this “rainbow” was a play of light on the windscreen.

Unconvinced, I managed to crank my body around to look out of the side window where, to my surprise I noticed that this was no ordinary rainbow. Probably, it was not a rainbow at all, but some other phenomenon. Because the arc that I was seeing continued on the far side of the sun, which I directly faced.

“Ooh Grant!” I said, excitedly, “there’s a rainbow all the way around the sun!”

I’m not sure how much attention Grant pays me while we ride around together. He probably thought I was still wittering about my ill-spent afternoon. But he must have heard the lift in my voice, and as we pulled off the highway toward the house, the “thing” was still visible, so he pulled over and we jumped out to get a proper view.

On-line I found some amazing examples of this phenomenon:

Depending on what you read, sun halos are “rare” or “frequent”, but it is agreed that they are formed by the refraction of light through hexagonal ice crystals suspended within high altitude cirrus, at a 22 degree angle to the sun.

So there.

Well, I never saw one before, although I have seen moon halos and I know they are to do with ice crystals also. Seems to me that Winter creates a lot of neat stuff. What I really want to see are the Northern Lights. They have always evaded me.

Just a few more images from my porch. The "Wolf Moon" and some of the memorial wind chimes

3 thoughts on “Sun halo

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