Spectacular Halo Around the Sun Seen in Africa

Article written: 6 Nov , 2013
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
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Fresh off seeing a solar eclipse on Sunday, people across the southern parts of Africa witnessed another solar spectacle today, a sun halo. “It was so beautiful, everyone was taking pictures and sharing them on Facebook,” said Daniël Engelbrecht from Klerksdorp, South Africa, sending in his picture to Universe Today via email.

These halos are quite the sight to see, but unlike an eclipse, they can’t be predicted. Conditions in the atmosphere have to be just right, with moisture or ice crystals creating a “rainbow” effect around the Sun. Sometimes the halos surround the Sun completely, other times, they appear as arcs around the Sun creating what is known as sundogs. Basically, sunlight is reflecting off moisture in the atmosphere.

Ice crystals in Earth’s atmosphere can also cause rings around the Moon, and moondogs(as well as sundogs) and even Venus pillars. News reports indicate sun halos were seen just a few days ago in Africa as well, on Nov. 1, 2013.

A few other people sent in images from their phones, too of today’s sun halo:

Image of a Sun halo seen over Botswana, Southern Africa at 11:08 am local time on Nov, 6, 2013. Taken with an iPhone. Credit: Belleminah K Chitonho.

Image of a Sun halo seen over Botswana, Southern Africa at 11:08 am local time on Nov, 6, 2013. Taken with an iPhone. Credit: Belleminah K Chitonho.

Image of a Sun halo taken at 12:10 on Nov. 6, 2013, in northwest South Africa, in Mmabotho with a blackberry phone. Credit: Vanessa Lucher.

Image of a Sun halo taken at 12:10 on Nov. 6, 2013, in northwest South Africa, in Mmabotho with a blackberry phone. Credit: Vanessa Lucher.

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3 Responses

  1. longwalkertoltec says

    Very good pix. My comment is that living here in the south I have for a while seen many halos around the sun, taken pix(which will require stitching them together in photoshop merge). More likely not as good as this person’s pix but the odd thing about my halos is that for just about a complete day of daylight I was able to detect a halo around the sun or parts of halos around the sun. Just the joy of seeing them was enough for me. Oh, I have not seen the number of sundogs that I have seen of late like the number I am seeing these days.

  2. Heberto Faría says

    in Maracaibo, Venezuela, on October 10 at 10:30

  3. Dreamer says

    Very beautiful. Would’ve been nice to see it with own eyes =) Lucky they who did.

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