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Lunar Halo

Lunar Halo

C003/2770

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Credit

STEPHEN & DONNA O'MEARA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEPHEN & DONNA O'MEARA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

This 22-degree lunar halo was created as light from the full Moon passed through hexagonal-shaped ice crystals within a cirrostratus cloud. The pencil-shaped ice crystals act like prisms and refract, (bend), the moonlight by an angle of 22 degrees. Since blue wavelengths of light are refracted by a greater degree than than red wavelengths of light, the halo's inner edge, (the one closer to the Moon), has a pale reddish orange hue, while the halo's outer perimeter is more of a pale greenish blue. Unlike the brilliant colors seen in a daytime halo around the Sun, those in lunar halos are much less intense to the eyes.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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