Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

123,450 subscribers and counting ...

EarthSky // Today's Image Release Date: Apr 16, 2013

Two sun halos seen over Canada yesterday

Here are two solar halos spotted over separate parts of Canada, at different times of day, yesterday.

Colin Chatfield, who has posted many beautiful photos on our pages, wrote,

Colin Chatfield, who has posted many beautiful photos on our pages, wrote, “Sun halo from this afternoon [April 15, 2013] in Saskatoon, SK, Canada.”

Halos around the sun or moon are a sign of high thin cirrus clouds drifting 20,000 feet or more above our heads. They’re pretty common. We see many, many photos of halos, especially in the winter months but also at other times of year. The two in this post are particularly nice, though. They are two solar halos spotted over separate parts of Canada, at different times of day, yesterday.

Our friend Virginia Zepeda Vidal posted this sun halo seen April 15, 2013. She said,

Our friend Virginia Zepeda Vidal posted this sun halo seen April 15, 2013. She said, “This was the sun this morning on highway 43, near Meyerthotpe, AB, Canada.”

What makes a halo? Those high thin cirrus clouds clouds contain millions of tiny ice crystals. The halos you see are caused by both refraction, or splitting of light, and also by reflection, or glints of light from these ice crystals.

The crystals have to be oriented and positioned just so with respect to your eye, in order for the halo to appear. In that way, you might say that each person sees his or her own personal halo.

Learn more about lunar and solar halos at this link.

Share your photos with EarthSky on Facebook, or email them to images@earthsky.org.

See all EarthSky Today’s Images here.

Want to see your photos on EarthSky?
Upload or share them today on Facebook or Google+.