Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sun Halo

On Monday morning, I saw an amazing Sun Halo!  A Sun Halo is an optical phenomenon that can occur when the sky is filled with thin high floating cirrus clouds.  The clouds are so high up that the water is actually frozen ice crystals, and these crystals act as a prism bending the light around the sun.  Sun dogs, and circumzenithal arcs (upside down rainbows :)) can also be seen when cirrus clouds fill the sky.  Another of my favorite effects to spot is cloud iridescence.  Its rainbow of color can be seen before and after storms in the higher clouds.  I am a little obsessed with optical phenomenon when ever there are high wispy clouds in the sky you can bet that I will be gazing sun ward. 

Optical Phenomenon are also fun because of the mythical associations they possess.  While I am not a believer in the these myths, it is fun to connect to the past when signs from above appeared in the sky.  I look to the sun (with care not to damage my eyes), and in the hopes of seeing something pretty!  Light, ice crystals, colors, and arcs... Beautiful!

Cloud spotter's Guide  A really fun read, and an introduction to a new hobby, cloud spotting!

Sun Halo-Oct 15, 2012 at about 9:30 am

Sun Halo- the line through it is a contrail- airplane tracks 

Sun Halo fading at about 10 am