Ring of light surrounding the sun appears in sky

Ring of light surrounding the sun appears in sky

At 12:17 p.m., on May 2, at Ameku in Naha, the halo of light was seen around the sun. (This photograph was taken using a fish-eye lens.)

May 3, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

At round noon on May 2, a halo, or circle of light like a rainbow that appears around the sun, could be seen in the sky above Okinawa. Shading their eyes with their hands, people looked up at the sky to see the mysterious scene, taking pictures with the cameras in their mobile phones. This is sometimes known as a 22-degree halo of the sun.

The halo phenomenon is caused by refraction as with a prism. Sunlight hits the cirrostratus clouds, which are made up of grains of ice, as high as 10 kilometers from the ground. According to the Okinawa Meteorological Observatory this phenomenon often appears in Okinawa. On this day, the halo was clearly visible because there was very little low cloud.

Hiromi Une, a 41-year-old resident of Uruma received an email message from a friend telling her about the halo. She said, “I was really surprised at the size of the halo and enjoyed watching it with my family.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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