BENGALURU: India’s tech hub witnessed an optical phenomenon – Sun Halo or a rainbow-colored ring around the sun in Bangalore on Monday, which brightened the day with several people on sharing photos on social networks and funny captions with.
Bengaluru residents were in awe of the rainbow-colored halo surrounding the sun as the remarkable circular rainbow ring was apparently visible from most parts of the capital of Karnataka.
It was first seen around 11 a.m. and lasted for over an hour, during which time residents of Bengaluru flooded social media with photos of the rare phenomenon.
@MyGovIndia summed up the euphoria surrounding the sun and the gloomy mood in the midst of the Covid era by stating in her tweet that “In the midst of this difficult time of # Covid19, this majestic optical phenomenon #SunHalo, observed through #Bengaluru, definitely brightened up the day! ”
According to UK based Atmospheric optics, a knowledge-sharing website, the Halo phenomenon occurs when light is reflected and refracted by ice crystals and may split into colors due to scattering.
“Crystals behave like prisms and mirrors, refracting and reflecting light between their faces, sending trees of light in particular directions. Atmospheric optical phenomena such as halos were used as part of meteorological knowledge, which was an empirical means of weather forecasting before meteorology was developed. They often indicate that rain will fall in the next 24 hours, as the cirrostratus clouds that cause them can signify the approach of a frontal system, ” explained Atmospheric Optics.
The website said halos are the collective reflections of millions of crystals that have the right orientation and angular position to direct their refracted light into your eye.
The website added that the key is always the orientation of the crystal and that only crystals with their prism axes roughly perpendicular to the sun’s rays allow light to pass through two side faces.
Halos around the sun are caused by the refraction or division of sunlight by ice crystals in the atmosphere. Circular halos are specifically produced by cirrus clouds, which are thin, loose hair like clouds. These clouds form very high in the atmosphere, at a height of over 20,000 feet.
Much like a rainbow, a halo is visible when viewed from the right angle – sometimes appearing just white but often with spectrum colors also clearly present.
Such a halo could also occur around the moon at night, which forms due to the same phenomenon.
Delighted residents of Bengaluru took to social media to share photos of the rainbow-colored ring. PC Mohan, member of Lok Sabha from Bengaluru Central constituency, shared three photos of the “amazing sun halo” on Twitter.
Another person joked on Twitter saying that even the sun is social distancing. Although the phenomenon is rare, it is not uncommon. Some Twitter users have dug up old photos of sun halos, as seen in other parts of the country before.
“These sun or moon halos are not that common, but they have been seen in the country earlier in the past,” a senior official tweeted. IFS officer Ramesh pandey.
The solar halo, also known as the “22 degree halo”, is an optical phenomenon that occurs due to the refraction of sunlight in millions of hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. It takes the form of a ring with a radius of about 22 degrees around the sun or moon.