Anyone looking up in the sky Monday may have seen a peculiar ring formed around the Sun. The ring is known as a 22 degree halo, or sun halo, according to ABCActionNews.com.
According to Dennis Phillips, a meteorologist for ABC Action News, the halo is caused by small ice crystals contained in high cirrostratus clouds. The sunlight—or moonlight—refracts through the ice at an angle of 22 degrees.
The halo is a pretty common occurrence, said Phillips.
Last week another ring was visible in the sky as a ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse was seen by observers around the world from Australia to Hawaii, according to Space.com.
The annular solar eclipse was best seen in remote areas of western Australia. The ring was caused by the moon covering most of the Sun leaving only a bright ring around the edge.
Annular solar eclipses are different than a full eclipse because, even thought the moon appears in front of the sun, it is too far away to cover the entire star.
For Michael Johnson of Columbus State University's Coca-Cola Space Science Center and his team, which provided a live webcast of the eclipse, this was an unprecedented experience although the group has observed many miracles in the sky.
"For the three of us here this was our first solar eclipse, we have done many lunar eclipses, but this was just spectacular! During the maximum eclipse it was hard not to just stare at the sun (something we had told everyone online and at the site not to do several times).”
Since the eclipse crossed the International Dateline it started on Friday May 10 local time in Australia and technically ended late Thursday, May 9.