9 Degree Solar Halo

September 18, 2009


Photographer: Doug Zubenel
Summary Author: Doug Zubenel; Jim Foster

I was playing with my children at Kill Creek Park, just south of De Soto, Kansas, on a beautiful midsummer’s morning and noticed high clouds passing over the Sun. Knowing I had an opportunity to see a halo or sundog, I soon spotted a classic, garden-variety 22 degree halo. I snapped this photo thinking that the linear Mullein plant in the foreground would make an interesting contrast to the circular halo. It wasn’t until editing the image that I noticed the rather faint 9 degree halo (18 degree diameter). To see it look just beyond the solar disk. This unusual halo forms when sunlight passes through pyramidal shaped and poorly aligned ice crystals in cirrus type clouds. Photo taken on July 17, 2009.