23 December 2016 | Moon Halo

Moon Halo

Credit: Mike Reva | Click image to enlarge or here for full size (5MB)


Russian Photographer Mike Reva has captured a stunning Moon halo complete with moon Dogs, and tangent Arcs in this photo taken from Orekhovo, Leningrad Oblast, Russia.

Mike combined 12 shots to make this panoramic image, which shows many phenomena of light refraction. He mentions that the ice crystals were in the air for 2 hours, with temperatures at -9 degrees Celsius. The pano photos were taken with a Canon 6D, 14mm lens at F/3.2 ISO 640. Each shot was a 5-second exposure.

The Moon Halo exhibits the same effects as a Sun halo, where the light gets refracted through 22 degrees from hexagonal shaped Ice crystals in the air. This creates the Halo up to approximately 10 Moon diameters.

In this photo there are Moon dogs, or Paraselene, visible either side of the Moon. While the Moon halo and Moon dogs are not always seen together, if the ice crystals are falling in a horizontal plane, the light can refract produce images of the Moon on either side of the Moon itself.

Also visible in the photo as part of the halo ring above the Moon is a tangent arc, while higher up in the constellation Cassiopeia, a circumzenthial arc or upside-down rainbow is seen. This arc is the result of ice crystals refracted at 46 degrees, and so will appear quite high in the sky, away from the Moon.

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