Ice Formation by Space Science & Engineering Center

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Random Weather Facts

In ages past, the huge rings or haloes around the sun or the moon were thought to portend everything from storms to great personal disasters. We now know they are the optical result of the refraction of light from the sun or moon by ice crystals in very high cloud (9,000 meters) called cirrus or cirrostratus.

On occasion, only two bright spots on either side of the sun can be seen. These are known as sun dogs and are caused when the ice crystals occur in a certain uniform arrangement.