Why there is a "halo" around the moon

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The moon appeared a bit different in the sky Monday night, surrounded by a gigantic bright halo. 

Storm Team 2 Meteorologist Heather Waldman says this is called a lunar halo. 

It's caused by millions of tiny ice crystals or water droplets in thin cirrus clouds. Scientists refer to them as 22-degree halos because the ring appears about 22 degrees around the sun or moon. 

The clouds cause both refraction, or the splitting of light, and reflection, or glints of light from the ice crystals, according to the science radio show EarthSky. 

This phenomenon is also called a Lunar Corona. 

Although it's seen on clear nights, this halo often indicates that precipitation is on the way. 

Snow and rain is on the way for Tuesday and later this week.

Here is the latest Storm Team 2 Forecast: http://www.wgrz.com/weather

 

 


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