Whenever the sky remains very clear at night, you may have seen that the moon appears to be very much bright and there’s a complete ring visible around the Moon, which if you look carefully, there is a glimpse of the rainbow in it. We all have noticed this many times, haven’t we? but do you know that the ring that is visible around the moon is actually what? By what name it known? How does that ring visible around the moon?
So let’s start with the name, the shape of ring visible around the moon is known as “Halo” or “Glory.” How does that ring visible around the moon or you can say how does halos form, so the reason behind halos appearance, is the light of the sun or moon which passes through a very thin layer of ice-crystal (known as cirruform) clouds in the upper atmosphere, between 5-10 km in altitude. The cirruform (ice crystals) refract the light of the moon, just like water droplets can refract sunlight to create a rainbow.
Ice crystals have a very consistent hexagonal shape in itself, which means that any light passing through them will always refract light or turn at the same angle.
The size of the ring visible around the moon is mostly 22-degrees. The light of the moon passes through an aspect of the ice crystals and then refracted back at an angle of 22 degrees.
The crystals in the upper atmosphere are filled in a substantial amount, and when the light of the moon falls on all these crystals, then all these crystals refract the light of the moon in different directions. These crystals are in such a large amount that every time a large number of these crystals are in the right position to refract the light towards your eyes. As I said, these crystals change the moonlight in different directions, but you will be able to see only the light which has been refracted towards your direction, you simply cannot see all the other refracted lights. It is possible that standing at a distance of a few meters from you, your friend got a different view of this light (Halo). Everyone sees their own private halo because you are only looking at crystals that are meant to align the light for your specific location.
But what is the reason, that we see a glimpse of the rainbow in the halo? We see a glimpse of the rainbow in the halo because the light of the moon is broken up into its separate colors because the different colors are refracted at slightly different angles and that’s why we see colors split up such as a rainbow.
Halos is always 22 degrees away from the Sun or Moon. Sometimes just like intense rainbows, intense halos can be doubled also. The intense halos can create “moondogs” or “sundogs,” very bright spots on the halo either side of the Moon, at 90-degree intervals around the halo.
So this is it, that is all about halo, the ring visible around the moon. So hopefully today’s our article will prove useful to you. Still, if you have any questions in your mind about halo, the ring visible around the moon, so you can ask us in the comments section. And for more science and technology stuff subscribe to our blog.