Kaduna metropolis, on Sunday, witnessed an optical phenomenon called ‘Sun Halo’ or a rainbow-coloured ring around the sun across the city.
Scientists said Sun Halos are generally considered rare and are formed by hexagonal ice crystals refracting light in the sky — 22 degrees from the sun. halo.
The ‘Sun Halo’ brightened up the day in the state with several residents gathered in groups to take a glimpse of it while many people on social media shared the pictures with different captions.
Kaduna residents were left awed by the rainbow-coloured halo surrounding the sun as the striking circular rainbow ring was reportedly visible from most parts of the capital city.
It was first seen around 12:30pm and lasted for over an hour.
A resident of Kaduna, Mohammed Sule, summed up the euphoria surrounding the sun and the mood amid COVID-19 pandemic, saying: “Amid such challenging times of COVID-19, this majestic optical phenomenon #SunHalo, witnessed across Kaduna State, definitely brightened up the day!”
According to the UK-based Atmospheric Optics, a knowledge sharing website, the Halo phenomenon happens when the light is reflected and refracted by ice crystals and may split into colours because of dispersion.
Atmospheric Optics said 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.
It said these clouds are formed very high up in the atmosphere, at a height of over 20,000 feet.
The website stated that Halos are the collective glints of millions of crystals that have the right orientation and angular position to direct their refracted light into your eye.
The website added that the key is still crystal orientation and only those crystals with their prism axes roughly perpendicular to the sun’s rays allow light to pass through two side faces.
Basically, halos around the sun are caused by the refraction or the splitting of sunlight by ice crystals in the atmosphere.
Circular halos specifically are produced by cirrus clouds, which are thin, detached, hair like clouds.