Lunar and Solar Halo Composite

June 26, 2017

Moon_sun_halo_5 (3)

Photographer: Hubert Drozdz
Summary Authors: Hubert Drozdz; Jim Foster

The image above is a composite of a solar and lunar 22 degree halo as observed 18 days apart, from the same location (Radomsko, Poland), and using the same photographic equipment. The solar halo was taken on March 19, 2017, at 3:30 PM; the lunar halo was captured on April 6, 2017, at 11:00 PM -- the Moon was in the gibbous phase.

Moonlight or sunlight shining through six-sided (pencil-shaped) ice crystals that compose cirrus clouds result in 22 degree halos. Light first passes through the side faces of the randomly oriented (more or less) crystals, is refracted 22 degrees and then exits through one of the crystal's alternate side faces. Though the lunar halo may be more conspicuous than the solar halo, especially if the Moon is full, the colors are harder to detect since the Moon is a weak light source in comparison to the Sun.

Photo Details:  Canon EOS 450D camera; Samyand 8mm (Fish-Eye) lens; Adobe Photoshop CS 4.