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Lunar halo and clouds over Tucson

An example of pareidolia … in this case, the moon, a halo and clouds looking like the moon rocketing into a halo!

Moon rocketing into a halo? No … it’s just clouds. The moon itself – plus ice crystals in the air – made this halo, which skywatchers call a 22-degree halo. Eliot Herman in Tucson, Arizona captured this shot on November 29, 2017 and wrote: “It was one of these neat things that last a brief time … I was quite excited when I saw the view looking like something it isn’t. To me it looks like the opening scene of Star Trek when they zoom through into warp.” Irex 15 mm lens and Nikon D850 camera.

Seeing something look like what it isn’t is called pareidolia: More examples here.

What makes a halo around the sun or moon?

Eliot Herman’s backyard in Tuscon is a great place for atmospheric optics; check out his collection of photos.

Deborah Byrd

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