Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sun Halo

Today we looked into the sky and beheld the most amazing sight! I had never seen this before, and we all didn't know if this was a normal occurrence in nature, or something unique to this area of the world? Later that evening, when we had time to check it out, we read the following explanation for the halo we saw around the sun:

"These rainbows, or rings are caused by ice crystals that form within cirrus clouds. Cirrus clouds usually appear at very high altitudes, usually above 8000 meters or 26,000 ft. These clouds tend to be ver
y thin, due to the lack of abundant moisture at those altitudes. This type of halo is also called a 22° halo, with the ring around the sun appearing usually 44 times larger the sun. The crystals that form in the clouds are hexagonal in shape, which act as prisms for the sun’s light." ( my friend Elizabeth said.