Halo Around the Sun

I took this shot of a Halo around the sun in Otaki last year. A halo is an optical phenomenon produced by ice crystals creating colored or white arcs and spots in the sky. Many are near the sun or moon but others are elsewhere and even in the opposite part of the sky. They can also form around artificial lights in very cold weather when ice crystals called diamond dust are floating in the nearby air.

There are many types of ice halos. They are produced by the ice crystals in cirrus clouds high (5–10 km, or 3–6 miles) in the upper troposphere. The particular shape and orientation of the crystals is responsible for the type of halo observed. Light is reflected and refracted by the ice crystals and may split up into colors because of dispersion. The crystals behave like prisms and mirrors, refracting and reflecting sunlight between their faces, sending shafts of light in particular directions.

A diffraction disc or Airy disc has similar appearance, but is a disk, rather than a ring, and has a red border on the inside. Its size depends on the size of the ice or water particles that cause it. These are also known as coronas, but are not to be confused with the thin streaming luminous gas that makes up the sun’s own corona.

Hope you enjoyed 🙂
Renee.

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