The lights halo phenomenon is a stunning and captivating sight to behold. It occurs when light reflects off the areas surrounding its source, creating a glowing ring effect around the light.
Whether it’s streetlights, car headlights, or the sun, a halo can be observed more frequently than people realize. In this article, we will delve deeper into the science behind lights halo and explore some of its common types.
The Science Behind Lights Halo
Lights halo is caused by the refraction and reflection of light through small ice crystals in the air. These crystals bend and scatter the light, causing it to disperse into the colors of the spectrum, like a prism.
The thinner and more uniformly shaped the ice crystals are, the clearer and more vibrant the halo appears. This is why halos are often seen around the sun and moon during cold winter months when ice crystals are abundant in the atmosphere.
Types of Lights Halo
There are several types of halo that occur around different sources of light.
22 Degree Halo
The 22-degree halo is the most common type of halo seen around the sun or moon. It appears as a circular ring, about 22 degrees away from the light source. The ring is often white or silver, and sometimes contains a rainbow of colors on the inside edge.
The parhelic circle is a halo that is seen at the same height as the sun in the sky. It appears as a warm reddish-yellow color and encompasses the entire horizon.
Light pillars occur when ice crystals in the atmosphere are closer to the ground. They create columns of light that extend upwards, often appearing as tall beams of light emanating from the source.