Thomas called from work to tell me to take Katarina and the camera outside, and we immediately saw the rainbow ring.
A complete and perfect circle with rainbow edges surrounding the sun.
It was huge.
Even lying on the ground, and shooting up to the sky, I couldn't get the entire ring in the picture.
(And I may have been bitten by an ant. But that isn't really important.
Just me putting myself in harm's way to bring you pictures again.)
Why is there a ring around the sun? What causes a sun halo?A halo can appear around the sun or the moon. It is formed when light passes through hexagonal ice crystals, with diameters less than 20.5 micrometers, in cirrus clouds within the Earth's atmosphere.
If these hexagonal ice crystals are in just the right place, they refract the light twice (when it passes in and out of the crystal), bending the light approximately 22-degrees, and producing a ring of light around the sun. This is why these halos are also called 22 Degree Halos.
It seems pretty simple, but it is one of those situations where everything has to be in exactly the right place at the right time. Pretty amazing.
Katarina and I both snapped dozens of pictures. She wasn't quite as prepared to lay on the ground as I was (especially after the whole ant incident), so she inadvertently made an appearance in a couple of her pictures while positioning the camera on the ground. I love it.
And Katarina loved getting a short break from math work to have an unexpected science lesson.
These are some of the same palm trees that were in the pictures when we saw fire rainbows in the sky a couple of years ago. They were pretty amazing, too.
Plus we captured this super quick video that helps you to really get an idea how large the halo was.
Have you ever seen a sun halo?