Ring Around The Moon? Here’s What It Means
Have you ever seen a ghostly ring around the Moon? We explain what it's called and what causes it.
While stargazing, have you ever noticed a large circular band of light surrounding the Moon? If so, you have seen a lunar halo.
What Is A Lunar Halo?
A lunar 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-degree angle, creating a halo 22 degrees in radius (or 44 degrees in diameter). A double halo, sometimes with spokes, may be seen on rare occasions when light reflects off water or ice.
The prism effect of light passing through these six-sided ice crystals separates the light into its various colors, resulting in a halo tinged with very pale rainbow colors with red on the inside and blue on the outside. The phenomenon of a lunar halo is similar to a rainbow produced by sunlight and rain falling between your eye and the sun.
What Does Folklore Say About A Lunar Halo?
Weather lore says a lunar halo is the precursor of impending unsettled weather, especially during the winter months. This is often proved true, as cirrus and cirrostratus clouds generally precede rain and storm systems.
Lunar halos are, in fact, actually fairly common. So watch the night sky — and keep the umbrella handy!
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Beautiful moon in Griffin Ga
Gorgeous! Thank you for sharing this with the community!
There’s a beautiful ring around the moon tonight. Maugansville MD
And here’s the halo around the moon in Tucson 12-3-22.
Tonight 2:30am in Michigan. Interesting because we just had the blood moon lunar eclipse this week. Also this is the second lunar halo like this I’ve seen around the moon this week . The full moon has been really cool ever since the blood moon occurred this week.
Hi Stephanie, Thanks for joining the conversation here and sharing a photo. Great shot!
Wednesday January 11 22 there is a halo around the moon at 4:53 a.m my husband said he’s never seen one as we where watch caught a couple of shooting star or maybe meters nit sure but appreciate that we got to see it together! Enjoy
So glad you were able to see it and especially that you could share it with someone you love!
8 Nov. 2022 Sacramento
Wow! What a strange and great photo! Thanks for sharing.
4 nov.. 2022 from phalaborwa foto from wynand kok.
Large white bright ring around moon tonight..,,
I saw this bright circle w yellow inside this morning I wonder what it means maybe water? Harlingen Texas
Tonight in the Santa Cruz Mtns outside Los Gatos, CA. Bright and orangey.
This is such a beautiful photo. Thanks for sharing with the community here! Please join our newsletter to stay in touch: https://www.farmersalmanac.com/newsletter
Beautiful, Large clear Ring around the moon here in Northamptonshire, England. 13/3/22. 11:11pm
It’s like that tonight tik 04/09/2022 at 1016 PM in Wisconsin USA they are technically called Lunar Halos and are actually quite common believe it or not.
Here in Galera, Andalucia a large clear ring around the moon?
Perth, Western Australia, Feb 19 2022 just before midnight… ish GMT +8
I took this photo from my phone on Feb 15th
Sorry, the photo was taken in Vale, Oregon at around 9 pm
What a great shot! Thanks for sharing Kat.
We had the Ring around the moon last night here in stonewood West Virginia 2/16/2022
Beautiful winter halo in Bristol, Quebec, Canada February 15th 11:10 p.m.
Seen on Valentines Day in Kodiak Island Alaska.
Seen in Quebec, Canada February 15, 2022 @ 11:15 p.m., beautiful!
It was in Chicago.. very Beautiful
Very visible in Phoenix Arizona today
This is my view firm Nigeria it’s so beautiful tonight
We had one last night it was so beautiful. And we are getting rain and
Snow tomorrow. In Alabama
My view of the beautiful moon tonight in Bladenboro, NC
Tonight’s view from Vandenberg Space Force Base, CA!
This is my view from Bladenboro, NC
I’m in Denver, NC and I saw it too last night! Just barely there, but I bet it’s more apparent tonight. Looking forward to finally seeing some snow!! 5-8″ forecast for Sunday here!
Tonight in Pacifica, CA!
Long time since I’ve seen on in Hazel Green Alabama
Over Fallbrook, California (San Diego County) tonight
We have one tonight! Beautiful…1/12/2022..
It is 3:30 am in Phoenix and their is a beautiful lunar halo….it does not show up in my photo.
Seen my first One today
There is a moon halo tonight here in south central PA
no rain in the forecast for the next 24 hours ??♂️
Thank you Sandi
There’s a large one visible in Mountain City Tennessee tonight
What a cool shot. Well done!
We are expecting lots of rain tomorrow with potential flooding!
Seen my first one earlier tonight
Ooh let us know if you get any precipitation – white or wet!
Seen one hear in Nottingham England tonight 14/03/2022
There is a clear one here at Moses Lake, Washington.
One here in El Paso Texas too
We’ve got a nice one here in Albuquerque, NM
Washington D.C. as well
There’s one in Rio Rancho right now
Flagstaff AZ too.
it is beautiful.
There’s one here tonight super bright in Wenatchee, Washington
May 25,2021. I live in So. Cal. desert. I”ve seen the rainbow around moon 3 nights in a row, but my husband can’t see it. Even without my glasses, it’s quite vivid. Tonight it’s cloudy. Let me know what you folks think
I’m in San Antonio Texas and I have seen the same thing. The other night was much closer to the moon but it was a full rainbow halo. Right now I’m looking at a scattered cloudy sky with a giant halo. We did just have a good downpour Friday around 3pm cst
We live right here in Converse, Tx and Noticed the ring around the moon while we were in our hot tub around 9:00 p.m. yesterday, Saturday. Very cool to discover what it is.
In Qld sunny coast Australia and seen the ring around the moon last night, we have just started on off rain for the last few weeks! But so cool you can see it on the other side of the world!
Seen this just now
Neither one of those rings were what I saw. At first I thought it was some orange color on the clouds and as the clouds were moving the orange glow would disappear. But it didn’t the clouds were moving pretty fast put they never passed over the moon as long as that orange glowing color ring was going around the moon. The ring was fairly close to the moon not like those other rings around the moon. Just a little curious..
Ring around the moon, bad weather soon .old fisherman tale
Thanks Jennifer! I was told the same thing. We lived aboard our boat for many years. A majority of the time it has correct.
I am 80 and my mother taught me 70 years ago it means a change in the weather.
She also taught when you see the backs of the leaves on a tree it means a storm is coming.
The leaves turning is often true . Worked in Countryside for 20 Years . Leaves turning with mackerel cloud . Storm or unsettled weather . Can be extremely. Sheep or Cattle Laid on ground . Often low cold wind and rain .
When the leaves of the deciduous trees turn down a storm is coming and that has never failed me in the Hurricane Season. Another benchmark I use is the proliferation of butterflies hatching and/ or a particularly robust tropical fruit bearing season before a bad Hurricane Summer.
I all was taught the same thing but another way is if you see cows laying down in the pastures it’s a sign of rain coming
Makes perfect sense, observe the law of nature. Stay in tune with nature and you can realize the essence of life.
I love this
I have known thank you so much.
The old saying was ” ring around the moon rain by noon “
My mom called it fairy ring and it meant that the fairies would be dancing that night.
My grandma told me when I was a little girl that it meant bad weather or rain
My Father used to say, to count the stars in the halo and that was how many days away the storm would be.
My Dad said the ring meant rain coming, the bigger the ring the longer time ’til rainfall.