Lunar Halo, Orion and Grossglockner

This is a 22 degree lunar halo about a waxing, gibbous Moon, the constellation of Orion and a mid-winter landscape in the Fusch Valley of east-central Austria.  Photographer: Selina and Patrick Hochleitner; Patrick’s Web site

In the far background (bottom center) is Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain at 12,460 ft (3,798 m). Fusch an der Grossglocknerstrasse is the town at the end of the valley.

Halos such as this one form in cirrus clouds composed of randomly oriented, hexagonal ice crystals. Moonlight passes through the side faces of these crystals, is refracted 22 degrees and then exits through alternate side faces.

via epod

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