My last post featured all the remarkable photos by Joan Weist of a double halo around the sun seen in coastal Rhode Island a few weeks ago. One of those images is found below. My sister Susan was kind enough to forward the photos for scientific analysis to my cousin Michael, an atmospheric scientist. Here is what he said:
“I remember seeing the same optical effect in the sky in eastern Massachusetts that day. This is called a halo, which always surrounds the sun, and it occurs when there are very thin, very high clouds in the sky (you can see these in the pictures too). These high clouds are composed of small ice crystals, and in the right conditions (that is, when the ice crystals are of the same shape and are oriented the same way) the sun light is refracted (bent) by the crystals in such a way that the light is separated into its component colors. The process is similar for a rainbow, which occurs near the ground, though rainbows occur when light is bent by liquid water droplets (rain) falling close to the ground. Your photos actually show a double halo, with the second one fainter and farther from the sun than the brighter inner halo. The double halo is much more uncommon, since the conditions needed to make one occur much less frequently.” (italics mine, PI)
DaVinci would have appreciated this explanation, and marveled too, at Joan’s photos and the halos occurrence in nature.
My blogging efforts have diminished what with the advent of experiments and research in sacred art, delivering summer art workshops, gardening, and walks along the beach.
I wish all my readers the opportunity to take some time off and find a spot that they, too, can enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Happy Summer!
Copyright © 2011- 2013 Deacon Paul O. Iacono All Rights Reserved. PHOTO Copyright © 2013 Joan Weist All Rights Reserved