Unique View of Lunar Halo

February 13, 2003


Provided by: Philippe Moussette
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Philippe Moussette

The above photo shows a unique view of a classic lunar halo, taken on the night of January 15, 2003 from Cap-Rouge, Quebec. Halos result when sunlight, or in this case moonlight, enters hexagonal ice crystals in clouds. Refraction of light in randomly oriented ice crystals produces a ring or halo around the Moon (or Sun). While halos don't display the vivid colors frequently seen with rainbows, the colors of some halo phenomena can be quite striking. Since cirrus clouds, which are composed of ice crystals, typically form in advance of approaching warm fronts, that adage 'a ring around the Moon may soon bring rain' often rings true. To make this photo, a Pentax ME Super Konica Centuria Camera was used with a "fish-eye" 80 mm lens (800 ASA)- exposure time of 10 seconds.

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