Q:

What does a rainbow ring around the sun mean?

A:

A rainbow ring around the sun means that the sun's rays are passing through ice crystal in cirrostratus clouds at a 22-degree angle. The ring is called a halo.

Cirrostratus clouds are thin high-altitude clouds composed of ice crystals. A rainbow halo around the sun or moon is caused when the crystals refract the sun's white light at a 22-degree angle toward Earth. White light is composed of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet light, the colors of the rainbow. Each color has its own wavelength in the visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, and the ice crystals act as a prism to separate white into its component colors.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How does snow form?

    A:

    Snow forms when atmospheric water vapor freezes onto a pollen or dust particle, which creates an ice crystal. As it falls, more water vapor freezes onto the ice crystal to create snowflakes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the difference between sunrise and dawn?

    A:

    Dawn, also known as daybreak, is the time of morning when the first light appears in the sky prior to sunrise, which is the appearance of the top of the sun over the horizon. Dawn occurs roughly 30 minutes before sunrise at sea level.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why does it get colder just before sunrise?

    A:

    It is coldest just about the time of sunrise because this is the hour at which the atmosphere has been without the heat of the sun for the longest time. The lowest temperature of the day usually occurs then.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is it so hot near the equator?

    A:

    Yung Chung-hoi of the Hong Kong Observatory explains that the sun is overhead at the equator and at a slant angle at the poles, which is why it is very hot near the equator. The other factors that influence the amount of sunshine received at different places on Earth are absorption and scattering of sunshine when passing through the atmosphere, and reflection by the surface of the Earth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore