Tuesday, August 30, 2011

the Sun Halo

This is my first Halo - and I saw it from the flight back to Mumbai.. This was somewhere over Malaysia and the phenomenon struck me. Sharing some more details from wikipedia -
A halo (also known as icebow or gloriole) 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 b
y 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.