Not one, not two but four solar halos around the sun in California

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Sometimes a luminous ring surrounds the sun. This atmospheric phenomenon is called a solar halo.

On Feb. 23rd, Mila Zinkova saw not one, but four wondrous circles around the sun in the sky of San Francisco. And that’s pretty rare! So what is going on here?

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Mila Zinkova; February 23, 2016 in San Francisco via SpaceWeather.com

These are magnificent and rare displays of pyramidal crystal halos.

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Mila Zinkova; February 23, 2016 in San Francisco via SpaceWeather.com

Ordinary halos are made by six-sided column- or plate-shaped crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds.

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Mila Zinkova; February 23, 2016 in San Francisco via SpaceWeather.com

Over California their ends were capped with pyramids.

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Mila Zinkova; February 23, 2016 in San Francisco via SpaceWeather.com

Yes, the air was filled with tiny pyramids of ice.

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Mila Zinkova; February 23, 2016 in San Francisco via SpaceWeather.com

The pyramids always have fixed angles set by planes of atoms in the ice.

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Mila Zinkova; February 23, 2016 in San Francisco via SpaceWeather.com

Light passing through them form ‘odd radius halos’ 9, 18, 20, 23, 24 and 35 degrees from the sun.

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Richard Sears; February 23, 2016; Ballico in California via SpaceWeather.com

And here a video:

In the images, you can see a bright 9 degree ring, an 18 degree one and then a clump of twenty-something radius halos and finally at the outer edge the 35.

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