‘Unbelievable’ moon ‘halo’ delights onlookers in UK | UK News

An “unbelievable halo” spotted around the moon overnight wowed onlookers across the UK.

The phenomenon is caused by the refraction of moonlight from hexagonal ice crystals high in the atmosphere.

“The moon’s halo or lunar halo is an optical illusion that causes a large bright ring to surround the moon,” according to Space.com.

“In effect, these suspended or falling flecks of ice mean the atmosphere is transformed into a giant lens causing arcs and halos to appear around the moon or the sun depending on whether the effect is happening during the night or day respectively.”

The moon spotted in Staffordshire. Pic: Ben Light
The moon spotted in Staffordshire. Pic: Ben Light

Historically, the appearance of moon haloes has been taken to foreshadow rainfall.

While this is not strictly true, it is often the case that clouds will move into the area and produce rain.

Whatever weather follows the spectacle, social media was awash with pictures of the moon, including from geographer Simon Collins, who was “delighted” to capture the event.

“I’m a keen weather observer (and) run a local weather station so am always delighted to see lovely weather phenomena as so many others did last night as well,” the 57-year-old said.

Angie Burns, a TV and radio presenter at Marlow FM, said she managed to capture the phenomenon on Saturday night from her front door.

The ring as seen from Reigate, in Surrey. Pic: Simon Collins
Reigate in Surrey. Pic: Simon Collins

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“It was the first time I’ve seen something like this so close,” she said. “(It was) unbelievable and yet tranquil.”

Some described witnessing the occurrence as “amazing”, with others commenting that it was “very weird” and “like a nighttime rainbow”.

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