Sun Ring No Cause For Alarm

The Phenomenon, Called a 22-Degree Halo, Is Caused by Ice Crystals in the Atmosphere

Sun halo above Santa Barbara
Tanya Guiliacci

We here at The Independent have received several calls expressing concern over a ring surrounding the sun at approximately 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. Contrary to the insistence of worried citizens claiming it is due to chemical trails or a postponed Rapture, we assure our readers that this is simply not the case.

Rather, the phenomenon is caused by hexagonal ice crystals suspended within the wispy clouds that are presently below our pleasant South Coast sun. When the sunlight hits these crystals, it splits into a spectrum, in much the same way water droplets refract light into a rainbow. The phenomenon, known as a 22-degree halo (due to the angle of refraction), is completely harmless.

If you have not yet noticed this phenomenon, take the opportunity to grab a pair of sunglasses and step outside. It’s actually pretty cool.


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