A bright rainbow like 'halo' around the sun enthralled the skygazers in the Indian city of Bengaluru. The natural phenomenon was visible in the morning on Monday, May 24.
Social media was flooded with images of the spectacular view as netizens urged everyone to move outdoors. Bengaluru, India's technology hub located in the southern state of Karnataka, is currently under lockdown in the wake of the rising COVID-19 cases.
What is a Sun Halo?
The rare optical and atmospheric phenomenon, which at times also occurs around the moon, is also termed as '22 degree Sun Halo' as the ring has a radius of approximately 22 degrees around the sun or moon.
Widely believed to be a supernatural phenomenon the halo of the Sun or Moon, called winter halo, occurs when the Sun's or Moon's rays get deflected/ refracted through the hexagonal ice crystals present in cirrus clouds.
According to EarthSky the cirrus clouds contain millions of tiny ice crystals. The halos people see are caused by both refraction, or splitting of light, and also by reflection, or glints of light from these ice crystals. The crystals have to be oriented and positioned just so with respect to the spectator's eye, in order for the halo to appear, reported the outlet.
Though a frequent occurrence in the areas having cold climate, the Sun Halo is rarity in a country like India.
Social Media Flooded with Images
As soon as the halo formed around the sun, its images were splashed across the social media. According to the Business Insider, a similar halo, which appeared in the skies of Mexico in 2015, sparked the fears of UFO and end of the world.
Revealing that he received multiple panic calls, the coordinator of the National Weather Service, Juan Manuel Caballero had said: "I have received some 30 phone calls from people who are scared and think that it's a bad omen, others think it means it will rain more than expected."
However, no conspiracies around the Sun Halo surfaced this time. "Bangalore sun formed a halo so that bangaloreans can step out and get some vitamin D, tweeted a user as another added, "22 degree Sun Halo! It's beautiful #Bangalore #Bangalore."
"After all the tensions in life and the nature is throwing at us please take time to look at this Sun Halo in my city Bangalore which is extremely beautiful," read a tweet.