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What’s A Sun Halo?

Ever seen a ghostly ring around the Sun? Read what they're all about and why they form.

Ever seen a ghostly rainbow halo around the Sun?

A Sun halo is caused by the refraction, reflection, and dispersion of light through ice particles suspended within thin, wispy, high altitude cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. As light passes through these hexagon-shaped ice crystals, it is bent at a 22° angle, creating a circular halo around the Sun. The prism effect of light passing through these six-sided ice crystals also separates the light into its various color frequencies, making the halo look like a very pale rainbow, with red on the inside and blue on the outside.

Folklore tells us Sun halos can predict the weather:

A ring around the Sun or Moon
means rain or snow is coming soon.

Sundog?

Occasionally, brighter areas will form along these halos, creating a mock Sun, or “sundog.” Sundogs are known as parhelia (or the singular parhelion) to astronomers, from the Greek words meaning “beside the Sun.”

Have you ever seen a sun halo, mock sun, or other interesting sights? Share in the comments below!

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Interested in becoming a guest author? Contact us to let us know!

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Casandra

Same one but a bit later

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Casandra

Caught my first one today! In Spain, Vacarisses.

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Stephanie

Saw this yesterday

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Lisa Christman

10:45 am ring around the sun in Santa Paula California 5/9/2022

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patrick bownes

Sun halo

Revonda Ingram

Ring around the sun in Bayahibe Dominican Republic on 4/23/22 2:30 pm

amy wood

Kansas City MO, 4/10.

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Fif

Sun Halo seen in Eastern Part of Ethiopia Today

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Dianne

Saw sun halo in Worcester, Massachusetts on 4/5/22

Bunty Singh Tanwar

I captured a halo picture in Columbia.

Clara Ines

Rainbow around the sun, March 13, 2022 12:52 p m

Clara Ines

Rainbow around the sun, march 13, 2022 12:52 p m

Samwel

Have seen one today ring around (halo) the sun. Nakuru Kenya

Terry

Saw one yesterday (Feb 15, 2022) in Indian Rocks Beach FL

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Laurel

Saw one a couple weeks ago in Charlotte North Carolina! Saw the halo and the sun dog. Amazing!!

Mindy

Sundog

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Mindy

I seen 2 in the last 5 days

Natasha

Amazing

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Natasha

Had to pull over for this Amazing Work of Art!!

Lorraine

Saw a sundog this morning with my mom in South Dakota. Very cool!🌈✨🐶❤️

Jeanne

Saw a rainbow around the sun on 12/29/21 in San Marcos Tx. So cool !! It didnt look like other photos I’ve seen of sun halos.

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Hilary Leslie

Beautiful!

Karen Kay Love

My husband and I was traveling to Phoenix Arizonia and stopped at a rest area. While being attracted to the rock mountain and decried to take a photo I look up at the sun and Wow what an AMAZING SCENE THAT TOOK MY BREATH AWAY!! The sun was surrounded with a ring around it! After reading upon it I learned it ws a HALO RING!!! It was such AN AMAZING SIGHT!!

Pamela

My Son and I were driving from Montgomery Al. To home in Fort Walton beach FL. Saturday 12/27/2021 and seen beautiful colors our from the sun and what appeared as a circle around the entire sun. We kept driving till we could get a few clear pictures and realized a circle around the sun and on the left and right side of the sun in the line of the circle it’s self were two light rainbow colored places that looked they were marking the half point of the circle.
It was beautiful to see! I was amazed and could not stop looking at it. The sun was blinding but the event it’s self was worth the tempperary discomfort to my eyes!
Pamela.

Pamela

Sun Halo amd Dogs

Edward Macdonald

Manchester, CT

Greg Hamilton

Palmer Lake, CO 11/14/21

Leslie Hughes

Dawsonville GA

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Naomi Carr

I saw this today in New Hampshire.

Last edited 9 months ago by Naomi Carr
Cheryl

Saw one today in Massachusetts.

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Lisa

Saw one today in Eastport Maine! Very exciting, all my grandkids saw it too.

Jyi

I saw one too.

Dorina Dinu

I’ve just seen one today in Montreal!

Nonie

I saw one today here in the Philippines…

Darren Ursulak

My Grade 4/5 class saw this one today, in Surrey, BC, Canada. The photo doesn’t really do it justice.

Kathy Kinghorn

Saw this in Idaho Falls earlier today!

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Susan Higgins

Beautiful!

Reyven

Saw this yesterday in CT. I took the pic with my phone

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Last edited 11 months ago by Reyven
Albert

Saw this today

Deetya

Just saw one in Hyderabad,india

Tammy

Today in Tillamook Oregon

Amanda

Saw one today in surry maine

John

Got one going on at mo. Swansea South Wales.

bob

No its not! it’s in Porthcawl! lol

bob

Told Ya!

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Mary stone

Saw one today 27th May in leixlip Co kildare ireland

Susan Higgins

That’s fantastic, Bob!

Evelyn Harper

Saw it in Felixstowe too today!

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Anne Marie McElvanna

Saw one today in Lisburn. N Ireland around 1.30 pm

Anne Radzewicz

Just saw a sun ring in Natchez, Mississippi.

Annette Hoogendoorn

I saw a sun ring or sun dog I live in LISTOWEL Ontario

pam kelsey

Just saw one in waterloo,ny

Andrew

Just seen my first sun halo in South West France at 14:00 20/05/2021.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew
Derek Remington

Saw this today, 5-19-2021, in western kansas!

Daisy Montanez

I spotted a halo yesterday in Cancun Mexico

Daisy Montanez

Cancún, Mexico 5/17/21

Gretchen Staebler

From my deck on May 13, 2021. I knew of sun halos (only recently), but had never seen one. After an unsettling day, it felt like a gift. (photo didn’t link. )

Last edited 1 year ago by Gretchen Staebler
Jacqueline

What is the blue dot?

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Susan Higgins

Anytime you take a picture of the moon or sun, people seem to get that same blue dot. It’s some sort of reflection.

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