Monday, April 21, 2014

People of Ranchi in India witnessed huge halo formed around the Sun.

Blazing hot sun had a huge halo formed around it.
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi

On Sunday, Ranchi people witnessed a spectacular natural phenomenon in the sky. The blazing hot sun had a huge halo formed around it. City people and those in the outskirts watched in wonder as the giant ring, also referred to as 22° halo, was visible around the sun for over an hour in the afternoon.

While many braved the summer heat to climb to rooftops to take photographs of the halo, it also caused panic in some. Apart from the state capital, other cities across the state like Jamshedpur, Hazaribag and Dhanbad also witnessed the phenomenon.

Halos are rings of light that can encircle the sun or the moon, and they usually occur when a thin layer of cirrus clouds are present in the sky. Most halos appear as bright white rings but in some instances, the dispersion of light as it passes through ice crystals found in upper level cirrus clouds can cause a halo to have color.

A halo (also known as a nimbus, icebow or gloriole) is an optical phenomenon produced by ice crystals creating colored or white arcs and spots in the sky. Many are near the sun or moon but others are elsewhere and even in the opposite part of the sky. They can also form around artificial lights in very cold weather when ice crystals called diamond dust are floating in the nearby air.

Weather Forecasting: What Do Sun Halos Mean?

The old weather saying "Ring around the moon means rain soon," contains a little bit of truth. Because halos need ice crystals in order to form, ice crystals are usually present in high altitude cirrus clouds. These clouds arrive days before an advancing cold or warm front, which bring rain. However, not all cirrus clouds are associated with storm systems, and some halos can merely signal an increase in water present in the upper atmosphere. Thus, rain may not necessary occur after the presence of the halo,  resulting in a forecast bust for this weather folklore.

Q: How often does a moon ring accurately predict rain or snow?

A:  No one knows for sure, but some studies say this folklore is usually accurate, he adds.  “There’s an old saying that goes, ‘Ring around the moon, means rain or snow soon.’ One study shows that moon rings predicting rain are about 66 percent correct most of the time.  Some people believe that the number of stars inside the halo indicate how many days away rain will come – if there are two stars inside the halo, rain or snow will arrive in two days.  Also, the halos can be different colors, with some appearing bluish and some having a red or even slightly yellow hue to them.”


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