Rare Rings Around the Sun Today Explained

The rings around the sun today at lunchtime. The rare and fleeting beauty lasted only minutes before disappearing – but will likely return during this remarkable spell of weather.  ©Photograph: John Reidy

It’s rarity makes it a phenomenon of sorts. But then it happens in the middle of one of the finest June day we’ve had in years. And that in itself could be put in the same category.

Don’t Look at the Sun

There were beautiful rings around the sun today and before we go any further if you wish to photograph this rarity take great car not to look through the eye piece of your camera. Point your camera or phone in the general direction of the sun and close your eyes and in the case of the camera, open the shutter at a high speed rating and at the smallest aperture.

What is causing this beautiful apparition in the sky today? I looked up a site called Planet Facts and at explains all thus:

Planet Facts Explaination

“Are there really rings around the sun like the planet Saturn? When a person stares at the sky, sometimes they see a ring around the sun. But most people haven’t seen those rings before. The rings that encircle the sun make people curious of what causes it to appear and disappear all of a sudden. Why is it not constantly there? What are those rings made up of and what is its significance?

The sun does not have any rings. If one looks through a telescope and observes it, there are no such rings like those found in other planets.

Rings are Called Halos

The rings around the sun that some have observed are called halos. What causes those halos? A cloud called cirrostratus is made up of ice crystals. These ice crystals that are suspended on the cirrostratus clouds are hexagonal in shape. Of course its shape can only be seen using a microscope. The sun’s light passes through these crystals and it will disperse the light and act like a prism.

The halos have different sizes. The most commonly seen is the 22-degrees radius.

Deflected by Crystals

There are instances though that a ring as big as 46-degrees radius sometimes appear. It also has different colours. The white one is most observed but there are also red, blue and rainbow colour. It is believed that the colour radiating from the halos depends on how it is deflected by the crystals.

The rings around the sun were used before to predict the weather.

Mind your Eyes

When a ring or halo is seen around the sun and even the moon, it may indicate that rain or snow will be coming soon. It may not be very accurate because other factors also affect the weather but it can sure give one an idea. Just be careful when staring at the halos. It may look interesting but looking at it direct might damage ones eyes.”


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