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EarthSky // Today's Image Release Date: Apr 24, 2014

Halo around the sun over Normandy, France

We get many messages throughout each year from people who’ve just spotted a halo, or ring, around the sun or moon.

EarthSky Facebook friend Jean Marie Andre Delaporte captured this image of a halo around the sun in Normandy, France on April 23, 2014.

EarthSky Facebook friend Jean Marie Andre Delaporte captured this image of a halo around the sun in Normandy, France on April 23, 2014. Thank you, Jean Marie!

This is a classic solar halo, what scientists call a 22-degree halo. Halos like this one can be seen around the world, throughout the year, and around either the sun or moon. These halos are caused by both refraction, or splitting of light, and also by reflection, or glints of light from ice crystals high in Earth’s atmosphere. The crystals have to be oriented and positioned just so with respect to your eye, in order for the halo to appear.

What makes a halo around the sun or moon?

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