Everything We Know About Sky Halos


| LAST UPDATE 10/17/2021

By Eliza Gray
Sky Halo Natural Phenomenon
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Have you ever looked up into the sky to see a large ring of rainbow colors surrounding the sun or moon? Well, that is called a Sky Halo, and its meaning is quite intricate depending on how far back in the ancestry of humankind one digs. The natural phenomenon might surprise you.

Sky Halo Circular Rainbow
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Some historians believe that a sky halo is a telltale that a storm is brewing close by. And, when it came to one of the recent water-based storms, Hurricane Sandy, many onlookers remembered seeing these circular rainbows in the sky beforehand. But, what they saw differed from others...

Sky Halo Natural Phenomenon
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That is because no two people view a sky halo the same. Like zebra stripes or snowflakes, these circular wow-factors in the air are uniquely one of a kind. To explain the reason behind this, let's momentarily flashback to science class in grade school.

Unique Sight Sky Halo
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This natural occurrence happens due to crystal refraction, or when light splits between and around millions of ice crystals inside a cirrus cloud. This forms a reflection that is 100% unique to your artistic eye. So, while you may tap your significant other on the shoulder to show them what you're seeing, their view will differ.

Sky Halo Natural Phenomenon
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Based on your eye's position, your height, whether or not you wear glasses or happen to be wearing sunglasses, your perspectives of the glorious circle in the sky will alter from the person standing beside you. Despite these differences, there are some common traits most viewers will notice.

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For starters, onlookers may see a large ring around the sun or moon with a red tint closer to the inside of the shape and a blue tint on the outside. This is often accompanied by a dark hue backing the colors, almost as a shadow. The ring may be dimmer or brighter, but either way, the colors will be visible.

Sky Halo Rainbow Circle
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So, if you are outside and happen to see this mesmerizing ring of light surrounding the moon or sun, it should queue alarm bells to either grab your camera or an umbrella! In a matter of minutes, there could be rain showers through the land. Make sure to snap a good picture first!