DOUBLE SUN HALO (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     20th June 2024        
output themes

Context: Recently, a rare celestial phenomenon known as a "double sun halo" was witnessed in the skies over Ladakh.

Double Sun Halo

  • Definition: It is a rare optical phenomenon characterized by the appearance of two concentric rings around the sun, caused by sunlight refracted through ice crystals in cirrus clouds.
  • Formation: The formation of a double sun halo is due to the specific orientation of hexagonal ice crystals in cirrus clouds. Random orientation produces the inner 22-degree halo, while horizontal alignment creates the outer 46-degree halo.
  • Appearance: In this phenomenon, observers can see two distinct halos around the sun - an inner halo at approximately 22 degrees and an outer halo at around 46 degrees from the sun's center.
  • Scientific Study: Astronomers and atmospheric scientists study sun halos, including double halos, to understand atmospheric optics and ice crystal properties. These studies contribute to weather forecasting and atmospheric research.
  • Rare Phenomenon: While sun halos are observed in various regions, the occurrence of a double sun halo is particularly rare, making it a captivating and infrequent event in places like Ladakh.
  • Significance: The double sun halo observed in Ladakh was a striking sight, featuring two concentric rings of light encircling the sun against a clear blue sky.

output themes