Photo of the Day – Moon Ice

 Ice Rings Around the Moon and Jupiter

About three weeks ago I was surfing facebook as I usually do late at night when a friend posted about a “ring around the moon”.  A quick trip outside and I quickly found out what they were talking about.

It looks like I just had a glare in my lens, but it wasn’t.  See below for an explanation.  The 1st photo is a closeup with jupiter at about 1:00 in the upper right corner.

 

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There’s an old weather saying: ring around the moon means rain soon. There’s truth to this saying, because high cirrus clouds often come before a storm. Notice in these photos that the sky looks fairly clear. After all, you can see the sun or moon. And yet halos are a sign of high thin cirrus clouds drifting 20,000 feet or more above our heads.

These clouds contain millions of tiny ice crystals. The halos you see are caused by bothrefraction, or splitting of light, and also by reflection, or glints of light from these ice crystals. The crystals have to be oriented and positioned just so with respect to your eye, in order for the halo to appear.

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So there you go.  Courtesy of earthsky.org, an explanation of what causes the rings.  Very cool.  I will have to look UP more often!

 

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7 thoughts on “Photo of the Day – Moon Ice”

  1. Rebecca Shockley

    very nice post, I have never even heard of this. the photo help's with the visual I would have normally had troubling getting. Space and it's ingredient's as I call them are interesting as heck especially when it comes to our weather.

  2. Amanda Greene-Lebeck

    that's really cool. A very nice picture also. I never knew there could be ice rings like that. I guess the old saying is true, you learn something new everyday 🙂

  3. What an interesting post. Thank you. The picture wit the ring is really pretty awesome.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com.

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