halo and contrail
Credit: E. Wiebe

Ice crystals in the upper atmosphere create halos by refracting and reflecting sun light. This is a 22 degree halo. A contrail apparently pierces this halo. Also visible is the shadow of the contrail cast onto the underlying cirrus clouds.

Halos are not very bright. Blocking the direct light of the sun with something handy helps make the halo more visible in a photograph. This picture was edited to enhance the contrast and to increase drama. The original is also available.

An excellent halo explanation site is available. There is an explanation of the 22 degree halo shown above.

UVic / SEOS / Climate Group / About Front Page Picture / Atmospheric Halo Last updated: Monday, 13-Sep-2010 13:06:01 PDT
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