Eureka: A Sun Halo in the Philippines

Last June 25, 2008, I was at the UP Astrosoc Tambayan to visit fellow members.  As a habit, every time I go there, I check the sky to predict weather conditions or appreciate different cloud formations. But on that day, I saw something near the Sun that excited me. It was a sundog – but a faint one. It was a good thing that I always bring my digital camera with me; I immediately took images of this rare phenomenon.

sundog/frament of a 22 degree halo

Later, I decided to examine the images and I realized that I might be wrong. Maybe it’s just a halo, not a special ‘feature’ of a halo.

I consulted Mr. Les Cowley, an expert in atmospheric phenomena and the owner of the Atmospheric Optics Website, about this problem. He told me that sundogs are technically halos. Sundogs and all other halos are made by ice crystals. He gave me two answers: it could be either a faint sundog or a fragment of a 22 degree circular halo.  Very often, these two look the same.

His answers led me to a conclusion that what I saw that day was really an ice halo – particulary an incomplete 22 degree circular sun halo! I thought I would never see one here in the Philippines.

All in all, I had already witnessed two lunar halos here in my place and two sun halos, one in the United States and the other one – the recent one – at the PAGASA Observatory last June 25.

Wow, imagine ice crystals in the Philippines’ skies!

That’s way way cool! Hahaha!

Abangan niyo din to guys!😀

~ by Stella's Gaze on July 21, 2008.

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