By Marisol Bo-oc, J. Jala | 03:40 PM August 03, 2021
People in eastern Bohol witnessed a rare phenomenon on Tuesday morning as a rainbow circled the sun creating a halo.
The sun halo was visible for over an hour in Candijay, Alicia and Ubay towns.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that halos around the sun or moon happen when high, thin cirrus clouds are drifting high above your head. Tiny ice crystals in Earth’s atmosphere cause the halos. They do this by refracting and reflecting the light.
However, other residents feared the phenomenon could be a bad omen.
“Basta naay katingalahan nga panghitabo sa atong kalangitan timailhan jud na sa umaabot nga mahitabo (If a strange celestial phenomenon it tells of future things to happen,” said Nessa Peligro, 60, a resident of Barangay Biabas.
“Mag-ampo ta kay ang sun halo maot ang mahitabo (We should pray because the sun halo is a sign of bad thinh to come)” she added.
Last June 2020, a sun halo appeared in Inabanga town and there was a dry spell in the province.
However, some residents took photos of the rare weather phenomenon and shared it in social media.
Here’s all you need to know about Sun halo:
What is a Sun halo?
Sun halo, also known as ’22 degree halo’, is an optical phenomenon that occurs due to sunlight refracting in millions of hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. It takes the form of a ring with a radius of approximately 22 degrees around the sun or the moon.
Where the halos are formed?
Circular halos specifically are produced by cirrus clouds, which are thin, detached, hair-like clouds. These clouds are formed very high up in the atmosphere, at a height of over 20,000 feet.
What causes a sun halo to appear?
The halo phenomena happen when the light is reflected and refracted by ice crystals and may split into colours because of dispersion, according to the UK based Atmospheric Optics, a knowledge-sharing website. It further explained that the crystals behave like prisms and mirrors, refracting and reflecting light between their faces, sending shafts of light in particular directions. Atmospheric optical phenomena like halos were used as part of weather lore, which was an empirical means of weather forecasting before meteorology was developed. They often do indicate that rain will fall within the next 24 hours, since the cirrostratus clouds that cause them can signify an approaching frontal system.
How can one view a halo?
Just like a rainbow, a halo is visible when viewed from the right angle – sometimes appearing just white but often with colours of the spectrum also clearly present. They are the collective glints of millions of crystals that happen to have the right orientation and angular position to direct their refracted light into your eye.
How often do sun halos occur?
Sun or Moon halos are not so common. However they have been witnessed earlier in the country in the past, he added. Such a halo could occur around the moon at night, which is formed due to the same phenomenon. (with reports from agencies)