If you were out yesterday night just for a while or for a quick walk, perhaps you might have been lucky enough to spot the Moon with a beautiful ring, Lunar Halo, surrounding it. The sight was mesmerising and brilliant. This is one Moon Science for kids even you won’t want to miss!
After a long time, we were able to spot the lunar halo. I remembered spotting many as a child myself. But with life getting busy and cities staying awake till late, this natural phenomenon became a rarity to spot.
We were even able to spot the lunar rainbow but weren’t lucky enough to capture it on the camera. But I can assure you it wasn’t a sight to be missed!
It is not everyday you come across stunning night sky like this one. The kids were ecstatic with their discovery. For those obsessed with magical tales, it was like a real magic coming true right in front of their eyes.
Also called 22° halo, the sight offered space, science enthusiast and curious minds an amazing opportunity to study the phenomenon. What more intriguing was that the halo appeared a little different for each person. Much like a private personal halo!
But what causes this amazing phenomenon? Does the folklore “Ring around the moon signals rain” hold any grounds? Let us explore the Moon Science for Kids behind this natural event.
Well! There is some truth to the folklore. But before we get into that, let us understand how this halo is formed.
Lunar Halo is formed when the moonlight, which is actually the sunlight reflecting from the Moon, is refracted from ice crystals present in the atmosphere. Now, these ice crystals are present in high altitude clouds, Cirrus Clouds. These thin Cirrus clouds have millions of ice crystals, because of their altitude, which refract the moonlight at 22° angle giving rise to a beautiful halo around the Moon.
For a Halo to be visible, these millions of ice crystals must be aligned in the right position to refract moonlight towards your eyes. Mysterious and scintillating, isn’t it?
But that’s not all! Each one of us gets to see their personal or let’s say private halo as you can see the light refracted only from crystals aligned according to your position. That means, each position offers a slightly different view of the Halo.
Now that we understand how Halo is formed, what do you think about the old folklore linking halos to rainy weather? Well! Halos are indeed formed because of the presence of clouds but Cirrus clouds aren’t the ones that cause rain.
But yes, Cirrus clouds do precede rain clouds at many occasions. No surprise, it rained before and after we spotted our Lunar Halo.