Footprints Zimbabwe posted this photo to EarthSky Facebook this week and wrote:
Ryan Vanderlinde (Zambezi Boy Photography) captured the recent sun halo seen across many places in Zimbabwe. African mythology claims it is a sign of great change, while other older beliefs say it is a promise of a good rainy season.
It’s easy to see how – in Africa, where these halos are seen less frequently than at latitudes closer to either pole – they’d be associated with change. And it’s also possible to understand the part of the African belief related to rain. In North American skylore, we say the same thing, this way:
Ring around the moon (or sun) means rain soon.
In fact, sun or moon halos may mean rain soon. High cirrus clouds containing ice crystals are what cause these halos, and this sort of cloud often comes before a storm.
Bottom line: A 22-degree halo seen over Zimbabwe in October 2018.
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.