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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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Naomi Carr

I saw this today in New Hampshire.

Last edited 2 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 4 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 5 months 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 5 months 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.

Kat

Steilacoom WA

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Carrie Laase

Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts

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Susan Higgins

Fantastic, Cassie! Gorgeous picture.

Robin

May 3, 2021 in Melbourne FL

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Susan Higgins

Fantastic, Robin, thanks for sharing!

Camy

Caught this on May 2, 2021 in West Bloomfield, Michigan

Alma R Barba

We saw this yesterday May 01,2021 in Southern California.

Alma R Barba

May 01,2021

N Jain

Sunnyvale, California 04/30/2021

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M Hill

St George SC 4/27/21 my parents took this yesterday. I’m in RI and we had an overcast so I wasn’t able to experience this personally

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Susan Higgins

Wow, this is stunning! A perfect example! Thanks for sharing!

Justin

Seattle, Washington 04/27/2021

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Cathy Burnett

Sun halo

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Pooja Audhya

Saw it today in Ranchi

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Susan Higgins

This is beautiful, Pooja! Thank you for sharing!

Shivi

Yeah, I saw today😊😊

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Dympna Greaney

Sun halo

Linda

Looking at one right now in Houghton Canal Michigan. Course picture doesn’t do it justice. Rainbow and sun dog both.

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Darlene

We can see it here, west of Gwinn, in the UP! Cool!

Barb Kembrey

We are in Aruba and saw this 2 days ago at 2:30 pm.

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Barb Kembrey

It was 4/14/2021

Gail G

Saw this in Scottsdale Arizona 4/11/21. Amazing

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Susan Higgins

Wow, Gail that’s incredible! Thanks for sharing.

Gail G

Thanks! Wish you could have seen the colors

John David Rheaume

Saw this halo sun with a sun dog 4/4/21. I live in Chesterfield Michigan.

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John David Rheaume

I saw this one on Easter Sunday April 3/21

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Darby

Saw a sun halo today April 3, 2021 in Gravenhurst. Looked like a round rainbow

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Susan Higgins

Fantastic photo, Darby!

Dan Eidt

Today march 23/21 there is a halo around the sun where I live in Alberta Canada. I have seen many of these in my life time plus many sundogs, rings around the moon and moon dogs. Each time I see one of these I am “well” I guess the word is awed. Now isn’t life beautiful.

Sherry Miller

Saw a sun halo for the first time here in Nevada City, CA. It was a God moment……..no words, just a feeling of wonder.

anne fuller

saw a gorgeous sun halo today in Mechanicsburg, PA. My iphone was not able to capture the picture but it was so awesome!!

Renée

Saw this today driving through VT

Lah

Saw it this afternoon….
Beautiful…

Susan Higgins

This is fantastic, Lah! A perfect capture.

Kristy

Saw this yesterday it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and little shiny ice crystals were floating thru the air
Canton,Ohio

Glenda Crawford

I saw this today in Fort Worth💜Crazy beautiful!💜

Glenda Crawford

Well…I tried to post the pic lol..not letting me

Kristy

Same here

Shannon Pritchett

We saw this rainbow halo around the sun today (4:30 pm CST). At first we thought it looked like a second sun to the right, then noticed the colors and a piece of rainbow to the right of the sun! It was beautiful!!

Shannon Pritchett

It won’t attach the photos??? 😔

Susan Higgins

Hi Shannon, feel free to share on our Facebook page.

Susan Higgins

Wonderful! Nature is amazing, isn’t it!

Karen Larson

I saw Sun Halo on the weekend in Perth County

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