Solar Halo Over the Bavarian Forest

June 17, 2019

Martin_AZ7Y5637_halo (002)

Photographer: Martin Dietzel
Summary Authors: Martin Dietzel; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a 22 degree solar halo as observed from Dreisessel, a mountain location in the Bavarian Forest of Germany. Ice crystals that compose cirrus clouds, having no particular orientation, will on occasion produce eye-catching halos. Because of how the crystals refract sunlight (or moonlight), they’re typically found 22 degrees from the Sun – about two fists when held at arm’s length. Of course, use the utmost caution when looking in the direction of the Sun.

Note that in the past decade, bark beetles have caused significant damage to the forest. Many trees are either dead or mere vestiges of what they once were, such as the conifer seen here. This now bizarre landscape, with younger, healthy trees growing between the dead ones, has become an interesting setting for photography. Photo taken on May 4, 2018.