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   22° Halo around the moon

 

Lunar 22º halo

Imaged December '03 in Ontario, Canada by Lauri Kangas (site).

The subdued colours of the image convey well the visual appearance of lunar halos.

Large version.

Image ©Lauri Kangas, shown with permission.





 

Halos are not purely daytime happenings. Look for them whenever a bright moon is veiled by thin cirrus cloud. A full or nearly full moon is best.

22º halos often encircle the moon. More rarely, because the moon is relatively dim, it is possible to see moondogs and other halos.    Colours are faint or non existent because their light is barely strong enough to excite the colour sensors of our eyes.

Much smaller coloured rings sometimes surround the moon. These are not a halo but a corona produced by the diffraction of light by the water droplets of clouds. And of course moonlight creates a rainbow although to the unaided eye it is usually a wan creature devoid of colour.