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Sun Halo and Ice Crystals

Date:March 1998 Instrument:f=28mm
Place: Pico Veleta, Sierra Nevada, Spain Observer:S. Kohle

© Copyright by the observers

The image above shows a 22 degree halo. Such halos result from sunlight being refracted by hexagonal ice crystals. This one is particular interesting since the halo is very close, so close that you actually can see the tiny ice particles as luminous specks, also called "diamond dust".

See also:
M.G.J. Minnaert: "Light and Color in the Outdoors", Springer-Verlag
Les Cowley: Atmospheric Optics web site about halos