On EarthSky’s Facebook page yesterday afternoon (May 14, 2013), we received many, many photos from U.S. East coast residents (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania) showing a beautiful halo around the sun. Did you see it? The photo above is from Jay Herbst. The next two below are from John Zenkus. The final photo on this page is from Steve Scanlon. But there were lots more on our Facebook page; if they haven’t moved too far down the page yet, you might still see some there by clicking Recent Posts by Others.
It’s fun to imagine how many might have seen this beautiful sky event over such a populous part of the world.
Many asked if the halo seen around the sun on May 14 was in some way related to the three X-flares on the sun this week. The answer is no. Halos around the sun and moon are weather phenomena. They happen in the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere. They’re caused by the presence of high cirrus clouds above your head. What makes a halo around the sun or moon? Read more here.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.