The people in the district witnessed a bright ring around the sun for few minutes on Monday, a rare optical and atmospheric phenomenon called ‘22 degree Sun Halo’.
Haronahalli Swamy, a functionary of Shivamogga Amateur Astronomers Association, told The Hindu that the ‘Sun Halo,’ a circle of light with 22 degree radius, is produced when sun light is refracted in hexagonal suspended ice crystals and super cool water droplets formed in the cirrus clouds. The halo is created when the Sun is aligned with these crystals at a particular angle.
He said that the halo is region-specific. This time, the residents of Shivamogga, Bhadravathi, Tirthahalli and Hosanagar taluks witnessed it from 10.30 a.m. to 11.45 a.m.
In Shivamogga, two colours in the ring, red and blue, were clearly visible to the naked eye. The bright ring attracted curious onlookers. In many education institutions, children came out of their classrooms to look at the sky.
Mr. Swamy said that a similar halo can appear around the moon also, or around any source of light when such a refraction process takes place. As this phenomenon takes place when large water droplets are present in high altitudes, the halo may also be followed by good rain, he added.