LEAVENWORTH COUNTY (KSNT) – A Kansas woman captured an image of an odd sight in the sky earlier this week from Leavenworth County.
Classified as a sun halo, this atmospheric phenomenon falls into the same vein as similar events such as sundogs and sun pillars. The image captured this week came from Ginny Fuhrer, a resident of Leavenworth County, who said she spotted it on March 20 around 5 p.m. while volunteering at the Alexandria Township Fire Department.
A sun halo is described as a ring or light that forms around the sun or moon as they refract light off ice crystals in a thin veil of cirrus clouds, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The halo is usually seen as a bright, white ring but can sometimes have color in it.
KSNT Stormtrack Meteorologist Matt Miller said these events are actually common and are sometimes referred to as a 22° halo. This is because if you measured the angle between a line from your eyes to the sun and another line from your eyes to the edge of the halo, that angle is always 22°. This comes from the hexagonal shape of ice crystals refracting the light to create a halo.
“Since cirrostratus clouds are fairly common in Kansas, seeing a halo is also a fairly common sight,” Miller said. “Just keep an eye out anytime we have a high, thin layer of cloud cover to see if one shows up in the sky.”
The sun halo could be seen from Shawnee County as well. Miller captured the following images near the KSNT 27 News station around 2 p.m. in Topeka.
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