From Tracie: Ring Around The Sun

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ring Around The Sun

The sun looked different today in Orlando. It had a halo around it.

Florida Sun Ring Halo

Thomas called from work to tell me to take Katarina and the camera outside, and we immediately saw the rainbow ring.

What is the ring around the sun?

A complete and perfect circle with rainbow edges surrounding the sun.

Sun Halo and Palm Tree

It was huge.

Even lying on the ground, and shooting up to the sky, I couldn't get the entire ring in the picture.

Halo Around The Sun

(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.)

Sun Rainbow Ring

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.

Sun With Rainbow Circle

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.

sun shining through palm tree with halo

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.

Katarina and sun halo

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.

Ring Around The Sun

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?

psalm 19 heavens declare the glory of God

48 comments:

  1. What a wonderful unexpected light to your day! And now I want to have science lessons with you and Katarina. Minus the ants, of course :p

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    1. We are also growing basil and bread mold on our windowsill - in separate, plastic containers. You are invited to all of our science lessons!!

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  2. This is why I want to homeschool. And live in Florida. Mostly live in Florida, as we got freaking SNOW last night. I love your photos and really appreciate the sacrifices you made to get them.

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    1. Hehehehe! Thanks. :)

      You should totally move to Florida. And homeschool with us. It would rock.

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  3. These rings can also be called "sun dogs" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_dog) which I think is way more fun to say than "22 degree halo" :D

    Nice pictures & a great teaching moment!

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    1. That is a MUCH more fun name! I love it.

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  4. I saw one last summer and I couldn't stop photographing it, although it was hard, as you know!

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    1. I totally thought of you yesterday when we were photographing these. I want to see your sun halo pictures!!

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  5. That is a very cool capture.

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  6. That sun halo made the news here in Boston this morning. I didn't see it, but apparently I was one of the few who missed it lol.

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    1. Awesome! I know some friends in Tampa saw it as well, but I wasn't sure how far away it could be seen. Don't feel too bad, I have a friend who lives here in Orlando who was outside at the exact same time we were out there taking pictures yesterday, and she didn't notice it at all.

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  7. Seems you girls had a wonderful day and fun science lesson, your pictures are wonderful and it looks fantastic here in Texas the last 3 days the sun is more a distant memory than daily blessing

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    1. Uhoh. I hope the sun has come back to visit with you again, now.

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  8. Very cool! Great that you were able to get some good photos, despite the ant bites.

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  9. Wow, that is so cool! And Psalm 19:1 is one of my favorites!

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    1. Mine, too. And I just kept thinking of it as I was snapping pictures and marveling at this phenomenon I had never seen before. It was a great reminder of God's goodness and amazingness.

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  10. So beautiful. A few years ago we saw this Halo around the moon one cold winter night and called it "Katie's Halo" for my son's girlfriend at the time. Picture's don't do it justice! They are just so beautiful! TFS

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    1. I love that!

      You are right, pictures really don't do it justice.

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  11. I like the name Sun Halo. Great pictures. Real awesome sight!

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  12. That is incredible!! I will be back to read this to the boys!

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    1. Awesome!! That makes me happy.

      #homeschoolingmoms4EVAH!

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  13. Great shot! Thank you for sharing - in need of sun up here in Michigan! Great info about the sun halo too!!

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  14. Wow that is SO cool, I've never seen anything like it before!

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  15. Ha! I learn something every day! I never thought to pay attention to the sun's halo. Now I will!

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  16. Wow, what a breath taking scene. That must have been so amazing to experience in person. I love all these photos, thanks for letting us get a peek of this awesomeness!

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  17. I don't recall ever seeing a sun halo before! I am jealous, I would have loved to experience it!

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  18. WOW This Is So Awesome I Never Knew!!

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  19. Wow I have never seen anything like this before, so thank you heaps for sharing it with us

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  20. I think God was trying to show us how awesome he truly is! That you so much for making my night!

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  21. I have never seen anything like that. It is just amazing... Great photos. Thank you for sharing

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  22. That's so cool. I saw several friends posting similar pictures yesterday.

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  23. That is awesome, God makes beautiful works of art doesn't He?

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  24. What an amazing site that must've been in person! Great shots!

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  25. I can not wait to show this post to my 10 year old son, he will love it. Great info and fun to know. Thanks.

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  26. I loved looking at your pictures. I enjoyed them so much. I have never seen anything like that before. God creates such wonderful pieces of art.

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  27. Wow! That is really amazing, I've never seen anything like that before. Nice photos too.

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  28. Wow, that is awesome! Never heard of it -- so great that you were able to capture it in those photos!

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  29. I live in Lake Mary so I saw this. Between this and the red moon two nights ago...pretty spectacular sights!

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  30. I've never seen that before and it's completely amazing! What a capture!!!!

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  31. That's really cool! I am not sure that I have ever seen this phenomenon before. I hope I do one day!

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  32. Beautiful lessons and a science lesson! I love it!
    ~Amanda

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  33. Awesome pictures! I can't wait to show my son!

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  34. I have seen a sun halo but really never gave it any thought. I guess I figure all of the sky is so curious, why shouldn't their be a halo around the sun and maybe someday in my future Tracie will come along and fill me in on each and all the glorious details! :-)

    Always grand to read you!

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  35. Mmm... these photos are beautiful! The skies are always so alive with so much wonder and splendour... I am always looking up :)

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  36. Those are some really sweet pictures! I've never seen that before, that would be awesome to witness.

    I'm hopping over from Twitter (@World_as_One) to check out your blog. You have a really neat family and I'm interested to read more in the future. I'm glad we 'connected'! :)

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  37. I've never seen one and it's beautiful! I wonder where all it could be seen from; I live North of you in Florida but I was mostly inside or in the truck all day =/

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