Tag Archives: halo

Glass Sundog

A bright sundog next to a glass-sided building.

A bright sundog next to a glass-sided building. The sun is off to the left out of frame. The sundog had a bit more color and more of the spectrum in it as seen through my polarized sunglasses, so I kind of wish I’d taken a shot through one of the lenses, but at least you can see how bright it was.

I haven’t adjusted the color on this image at all -– except for cropping, it’s straight out of my phone.

Bisected Halo

A circular halo around the sun, which is behind a tree. A contrail crosses the halo, leaving its shadow on the thin cloud layer below.

A clear 22-degree halo around the sun, bright enough that I didn’t have to adjust the image afterward. This is straight from my phone.

Even cooler: you can actually see the contrail’s shadow on the layer of cloud that’s producing the halo! The sun is behind the tree, and while the contrail pops out so it looks closer than the almost uniform layer, it’s clear from the shadow that the contrail is higher.

Double Rainbow Cloud

Wispy cirrus clouds/contrails against a blue sky, with a rainbow-colored section.

Two fragments of a circumhorizon arc seen on my way back from lunch today. I took some shots with my phone, because that’s what I had, then remembered that I had the good camera with me (I usually don’t) and grabbed it from the office. The clouds had shifted, but not far enough to destroy the effect completely, and I was able to get some interesting shots of one section, even if the other had mostly dissipated.

Saturation has been enhanced on both photos to bring out the colors.

Looking back over others I’ve seen, just about all of them have been visible while I was on my way to or from lunch. It makes sense. The optics do require the sun to be high in the sky for it to appear, so close to noon is a better time to spot them than, say, mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Wisply cirrus clouds/contrails above palm trees. Two clouds have rainbow-colored segments at the same visual height.

Oh, funny thing: When I initially posted these on Pixelfed, my phone auto-corrected “cirrus cloud” to “citrus cloud.” Twice. And again when I tried to correct it!

Summer Halo

A short rainbow-like arc in the sky, backed by wispy clouds and appearing above the silhouette of a palm tree.

This solar halo fragment is high in the sky, near where you’d expect something rare like a circumzenithal arc. But it’s wrapped around the sun at just the right distance to be a common 22° circular halo. On July afternoons, the sun is high to begin with!

Compass in the Sky

A circular halo of light around the sun, with a silhouetted traffic signal.

Two views of a 22-degree circular halo around the sun that I saw on a walk this afternoon.

Halos are a lot more common than I used to think. Then I started actually looking for them. Even on a warm day like today, there can still be ice crystals higher in the atmosphere of the right size and shape to cause a display like this (or even more complicated ones).

A circular halo of light around the sun, with a silhouetted jacaranda tree.

Usually I just go for a utilitarian, “got a picture of the halo,” but this time I tried about five different things to block the sun, trying to compose an interesting shot as well. I’m going to have to keep that up!