The Saintly Sun: A Double Halo

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Today we were lucky enough here to be blessed with a rare phenomenon: a double halo of the sun. The primary halo (at 22 degrees from the sun) persisted for a while, but the second halo (perhaps truly a circumhorizontal arc, at 46 degrees from the sun) was far more ephemeral. (And much more brilliant!)

This is the first time I’ve ever seen such a display, as far as I can remember. I’ve seen a lot of single halos (but none brighter than this one–unfortunately I didn’t have my camera along when its rainbow colors were at their brightest), often with associated sundogs, but I don’t remember seeing it with this particular concurrent phenomenon.

While I studied a little of atmospheric optics in grad school, I’ve unfortunately forgotten much of it. Given the brightness of the primary halo, I’m wondering if that might actually be a circumscribed halo, as the sun was very high in the sky at the time. If there is an expert who can help me positively identify these features, I would love to hear from you!

Processed in Lightroom and Elements, as usual.

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