Circular Solar Halo


Circular Solar Halo is an optical phenomenon seen in the sky when sunlight interacts with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. These pictures of solar halo were observed on 09 June 2019 in Hampshire England.

On Sunday morning of 09 th June 2019, I was sitting in the backyard. It was partly cloudy sky. I was enjoying the sun when I noticed some beautiful things in the sky around cloud-sun area. I took out my phone and quickly took pictures.

Do you know what they are ? I did not.

I searched google and literature – this is Halo, an optical phenomenon seen in the partly cloudy sky.

These are images of circular solar halo observed in Alton, Hampshire on 09 June 2019.

The Halo is produced as a result of diffraction when sunlight interacts with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. (Rainbows are formed when light interacts with water droplets).

Orientation and the size of the ice crystals is important in formation of circular halo. These are not formed by randomly oriented ice crystals. For a sharp diffraction pattern the ice crystals should be in transition between randomness and high orientation and have diameters between about 12 and 40 μm (Fraser 1979).



Fraser Alistair B.1979. What size of ice crystals causes the halos?. Journal of the Optical Society of America. 69(8).


Neelam Prasad, Hampshire England

The views and opinions expressed in blogs are solely those of the author(s) and other contributor(s), if any.

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