Hyderabad Stunned by Rare Sun Halo Phenomenon: Here’s What It Means!

Hyderabad Stunned by Rare Sun Halo Phenomenon: Here’s What It Means!

Hyderabad Sun Halo : On Wednesday afternoon, residents of Hyderabad were treated to a rare and stunning optical phenomenon: a sun halo. For a few brief minutes, a large, luminous ring encircled the sun, creating a captivating display in the sky. This phenomenon, scientifically known as a ’22-degree circular halo,’ is an infrequent occurrence that delights those lucky enough to witness it.

Hyderabad Stunned by Rare Sun Halo Phenomenon: Here’s What It Means!

Discover the science and weather implications behind the rare 22-degree sun halo witnessed in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Learn how this beautiful phenomenon predicts upcoming weather changes.

What is a 22-Degree Circular Halo?

A 22-degree circular halo is a ring of light that forms around the sun (or sometimes the moon) at an angle of 22 degrees. This optical phenomenon occurs when sunlight passes through ice crystals in the atmosphere. Specifically, these ice crystals are found in cirrus clouds, which are high-altitude clouds composed of tiny ice particles. The sunlight is refracted and reflected by these crystals, creating the characteristic bright, white ring. Occasionally, these halos can also display a spectrum of colors, adding to their visual allure.

Hyderabad witnessed Sun Halo, a rare phenomenon of a bright rainbow ring around the sun, for a few minutes on Wednesday. Photo: Anand Dharmana.

The Science Behind the Halo

The formation of a sun halo involves a fascinating interaction between light and ice crystals. When sunlight encounters the hexagonal ice crystals in cirrus clouds, it is bent or refracted at an angle of 22 degrees. The refracted light then exits the crystal and continues on its path, creating the ring effect that we observe from the ground. This bending of light causes the halo to appear as a circle with a radius of approximately 22 degrees around the sun.

Indications of Impending Weather Changes

Beyond its beauty, a sun halo often serves as a natural indicator of changing weather conditions. The presence of cirrostratus clouds, which are responsible for creating the halo, can signal that rain or other precipitation might be on its way within the next 24 hours. These clouds typically precede approaching weather fronts, providing an early warning system of sorts.

Weather experts often use sun halos as clues for forecasting. The direction from which the cirrus clouds are moving can offer insights into the likely path of weather systems. For instance, if these clouds are advancing from the south or north, the associated weather system might bypass the area, moving eastward. Conversely, if the clouds are coming from the west, there is a higher probability that the weather system will bring precipitation to the region.

A Natural Wonder

For Hyderabadis, witnessing a sun halo was not only a visual treat but also an opportunity to appreciate the intricate workings of nature. Such phenomena remind us of the fascinating interplay between atmospheric conditions and the sunlight that bathes our planet.

Next time you see high, thin cirrus clouds in the sky, keep an eye out for the possibility of a halo. Not only might you witness a beautiful natural display, but you could also be seeing the first signs of impending weather changes.


The sun halo observed in Hyderabad on Wednesday is a reminder of the beauty and complexity of our atmosphere. While it’s a rare sight, understanding the science behind it enhances our appreciation of such natural wonders. Moreover, recognizing the weather implications of these phenomena can be practically useful, helping us prepare for what might come next.

So, the next time you spot a ring around the sun, you’ll know it’s not just a pretty sight but a celestial message about the weather. Keep looking up and marveling at the wonders of the sky!

ALSO READHyderabad’s Silent Zones Are Louder Than Ever – Here’s What’s Causing the Noise Explosion!

20 FAQs About Sun Halos

  1. What is a sun halo?
    • A sun halo is a ring of light that forms around the sun due to the refraction and reflection of sunlight by ice crystals in the atmosphere.
  2. How is a sun halo formed?
    • Sun halos are formed when sunlight passes through ice crystals in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds, which bend and reflect the light to create a circular halo.
  3. What causes the 22-degree halo around the sun?
    • The 22-degree halo is caused by the refraction of sunlight through hexagonal ice crystals, resulting in a halo that is 22 degrees away from the sun.
  4. Is a sun halo a rare phenomenon?
    • Sun halos are not extremely rare, but they are not commonly observed because they require specific atmospheric conditions involving ice crystals in high-altitude clouds.
  5. Can a sun halo predict weather changes?
    • Yes, sun halos can indicate impending weather changes, often signaling that rain or a storm may occur within the next 24 hours as the cirrostratus clouds move in.
  6. What do the colors in a sun halo mean?
    • While sun halos are usually white, they can sometimes display faint colors due to dispersion of light, with red on the inside edge and blue on the outside edge.
  7. Can a sun halo appear around the moon?
    • Yes, a similar phenomenon can occur around the moon, known as a moon halo, caused by the same ice crystal refraction process.
  8. How long does a sun halo last?
    • The duration of a sun halo can vary, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the stability of the atmospheric conditions.
  9. Are there different types of halos besides the 22-degree halo?
    • Yes, there are several types of halos, including the 46-degree halo, sun dogs (parhelia), and light pillars, each formed by different interactions of light with ice crystals.
  10. Can a sun halo be seen all year round?
    • Yes, sun halos can be seen at any time of the year, as long as the atmospheric conditions are right with the presence of ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.
  11. Is it safe to look directly at a sun halo?
    • It is not safe to look directly at the sun to see a halo without proper eye protection, as staring at the sun can cause eye damage.
  12. What is the scientific name for a sun halo?
    • The scientific term for a sun halo is a “22-degree halo” due to the typical angle at which the halo forms around the sun.
  13. Can a sun halo occur in any location around the world?
    • Yes, sun halos can occur anywhere around the world where cirrus clouds with ice crystals are present in the atmosphere.
  14. Do sun halos only appear during the day?
    • Sun halos appear during the day, but similar halos can appear around the moon at night, known as moon halos.
  15. Why are sun halos circular?
    • Sun halos are circular because the ice crystals in the clouds are randomly oriented and have a hexagonal shape, bending the light at consistent angles to form a circle.
  16. Can pollution affect the appearance of a sun halo?
    • While pollution does not directly create halos, it can affect the clarity of the atmosphere and potentially make it harder to see them.
  17. Are sun halos mentioned in folklore or mythology?
    • Yes, sun halos have been mentioned in various cultures’ folklore and mythology, often seen as omens or signs of impending weather changes.
  18. What should I do if I see a sun halo?
    • Enjoy the rare sight, but be sure to protect your eyes by not looking directly at the sun. You can use sunglasses or indirect methods to view the halo safely.
  19. Can sun halos be photographed?
    • Yes, sun halos can be photographed, and capturing them with a camera often brings out the colors and details more vividly than the naked eye can see.
  20. Do scientists study sun halos?
    • Yes, scientists study sun halos to understand atmospheric conditions, the formation of ice crystals, and to use them as indicators for weather predictions.

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