Sunday 21 July, 2019

There is a halo in the sky, what does it mean?

If you happen to be outside today, look up.

There is an optical phenomenon that has social media abuzz today with many instructing people to look up at the sun.

If you do look up, you will see that the sun has an iridescent glow around it called a halo.

Don't be concerned though.

Meteorologist Paula Wellington told Loop that the halo is the result of ice crystals in the Cirrostratus clouds.

Cirrostratus clouds are high-altitude clouds that are thin, patchy and sheet-like in appearance.

Wellington said when the sun shines through the crystals it creates a rainbow effect. She likened it to it a science experiment where you put a flashlight through a prism and the light disperses into different colours.

She said, however, with this optical phenomenon, the rainbow effect won’t look the same to everyone. It depends on how the light hits the eyes of the viewer, she said.

Wellington said as long as the clouds are there, the halo effect will be seen. But, at night, viewers will only see a white halo around the moon and not the brilliant colours you see during the day.

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