Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Last Night's Moon-Halo

I watched the moon get brighter last night as the sun set and missed an awesome picture or twoas it cast it's beam of light across the water.  I kept on watching it as it rose and around 10 PM EST it had this halo...

The contrast would have been much better if I had set up on a tripod and took a longer exposure...

The halo was so large that I could barely fit it in the lens.  It looked much more like this excellent pic from the UK taken earlier in the evening in England...

Different colours of light are bent at different amounts, so the inner edge of the halo is slightly red, and the outer edge is slightly more blue, seen here above St Catherine's lighthouse, Isle of Wight
St Catherine's lighthouse, Isle of Wight.  From the Daily Mail

This awesome effect is created when upper atmospheric ice crystals of a "just right temperature - and therefor just right angle" reflect the moon's light in the spherical upper atmosphere layer. Cirrostratus clouds were responsible for the beautiful effect.

I didn't know the UK had witnessed the halo when I took my picture, just wanted to capture a beautiful atmospheric effect... I find it so amazing that the layer of upper atmosphere ice crystals existed right across the Atlantic last night.  

Hope you enjoyed the pics,


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