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Malegaon’s date with "Sun Halo"

“Sun Halo” or “22 degree Sun Halo” – is again in news after people in Bengaluru witnesses the rare optical phenomenon on Monday

Tuesday May 25, 2021 2:13 PM, Zohair M Safwan, ummid.com

SUn Halo in Malegaon

[Screen grab of June 2007 article when people in Malegaon had witnessed "Sun Halo" in the sky.]

Malegaon: “Sun Halo” or “22 degree Sun Halo” – is again in news after people in Bengaluru witnesses the rare optical phenomenon on Monday.

People in Jharkhand had the opportunity to watch “Sun Halo” about a month ago on April 26, 2021.

About two weeks ago on May 6, 2021, sky gazers in eastern Kentucky, United Kingdom had a similar moment when people there saw a beautiful ring surrounding the bright Sun.

These reports of people witnessing "Sun Halo" coming from various parts of the world reminded the people of Malegaon the “rare astral vista” they had seen 14 years ago on June 9, 2007.

“The reports of people watching “Sun Halo” coming from various parts in quick succession is making it appear a common phenomenon. However, it was really a rare and amazing experience when we first saw it in Malegaon 14 years ago”, Aleem Faizee, Founder and Editor ummid.com who had reported it in 2007 for Times of India, recalled.

Read the Report Here: An Astral Vista

“Everyone was on streets. School students were on ground. People in the market were all looking at the sky. There was more euphoria and enthusiasm than what has been reported from Bengaluru and other places”, he said.

"Sun Halo vs Sundog"

“Puzzled by the rare astral phenomenon, I contacted Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai. Piyush Pande, the then Director of the Planetarium, said he had seen similar ring around the Sun three days ago on June 6, 2007 in Mumbai. He called it “Sundog” and sent some photos”, Aleem Faizee recalled.

“However the photographs Piyush Pande had shared with me was different to what we had seen in Malegaon”, he said.

“I took both the photographs and rushed to Dr Yusuf Ansari. He said what Piyush Pande saw in Mumbai was indeed “Sundog” which is the result of rain. But what we witnessed in Malegaon was not a Sundog. It was a “Sun Halo”, a phenomenon commonly seen around the Moon”.

Interestingly, people in Bhandara district of Nagpur witnessed “22 degree circular Moon Halo” on April 26, 2021 - on the same day when people in Jharkhand witnessed “Sun Halo”.

Sun Halo in Bengaluru

["Sun Halo" as seen in Bengaluru on Monday May 24, 2021.]

“Twice Lucky”

People in Malegaon had a second chance of witnessing “Sun Halo” on August 24, 2019. This time the phenomenon was captured by Pappu Siddiquee, a local photographer, who also shared the images on his Facebook page.

Fourteen years later, UK based Atmospheric Optics, a knowledge sharing website, throws more light on it saying the Halo phenomena happens when the light is reflected and refracted by ice crystals and may split into colours because of dispersion.

"The crystals behave like prisms and mirrors, refracting and reflecting light between their faces, sending shafts of light in particular directions. Atmospheric optical phenomena like halos were used as part of weather lore, which was an empirical means of weather forecasting before meteorology was developed. They often do indicate that rain will fall within the next 24 hours, since the cirrostratus clouds that cause them can signify an approaching frontal system," Atmospheric Optics explained.

“Such a halo could also occur around the Moon at night, which is formed due to the same phenomenon”, the website explained, confirming what Dr Yusuf Ansari had said after witnessing the “Sun Dog” in Malegaon 14 years ago.


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