Monday, November 10, 2008

Ring around the Moon

I went out to get something from the car this evening and I looked up to the almost full moon and saw a ring around it. I dont' know if any of you have ever seen one, but they are pretty neat looking. I've always been interested in the night skies, in fact when I was in 6th grade I wanted to be an astronaught. I never lost that interest in it even though I pursued other paths. I have seen very few, this was only about the third time I've seen one, but I always look for them. It has pretty much only been in the fall that I"ve seen it. The thought is that it indicates a change in the weather.

Here is the theory behind them:

"A Ring Around The Moon
The ring around the Moon is caused by the refraction of Moonlight (which of course is reflected sunlight) from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. The shape of the ice crystals results in a focusing of the light into a ring. Since the ice crystals typically have the same shape, namely a hexagonal shape, the Moon ring is almost always the same size.
Less typical are the halos that may be produced by different angles in the crystals. They can create halos with an angle of 46 degrees.
Moon Ring Weather Folklore has it that a ring around the moon signifies bad weather is coming, and in many cases this may be true. So how can rings around the moon be a predictor of weather to come? The ice crystals that cover the halo signify high altitude, thin cirrus clouds that normally precede a warm front by one or two days. Typically, a warm front will be associated with a low pressure system which is commonly referred to as a storm.
It is believed that the number of stars within a moon halo indicate the number days before bad weather will arrive. Give it a try the next time you observe a moon halo."

Well, I didn't see any stars inside the ring, but it was pretty bright with the almost full moon. I will then predict snow in the next 24 hours (but at least by this weekend...). I'll let you know if the snow flies!


Valeri Crockett said...

That's really cool, thanks for sharing!!!

Heidi said...

I saw the ring too! (Maybe we live in the same city or something...) It was so dramatic--a different color inside the ring. I was thinking this might be the last time we see the moon for a while.

Sharon said...

huh, it's really pretty... i wonder if it will snow

courtney said...

That is so pretty! I look at the sunsets, or sunrises, or a storm rolling in and I am touched by the amazing beauty we are blessed to witness!

shaina said...

It totally changed temperatures for us yesterday. After school, Keaton said "Winter is here!" It was pretty cold. That's cool that there is a connection with the changing of seasons.

kdaygirl said...

Well the sun and the moon move the tides, why not the seasons?
Those are really cool pics, I hope I get to see one someday!