The solar halo of “diamond dust”

A ski resort is one of the best places to see the solar halo. These rings and columns of light surround the sun when the air is filled with ice crystals. The most delightful halos are created by crystals called “diamond dust”. On Thursday, December 7, Cameron Barge saw this splendor when she was skiing in the city of Whitefish in the US state of Montana.


 
“When we got on the lift and went to meet the clouds, all kinds of halos shone before us! It was simply unforgettable! “, Says Barge.

Usual solar halos are formed due to ice crystals floating in high-altitude cirrus clouds. The observed halos, on the contrary, are formed by ice crystals at the ground, raised in the air by skiers and snow-removing machines. If you look closely at the picture, you can see small sparks in the air. These are sparkling crystals of “diamond dust”, giving the halo a special beauty.

Cameron documented a rare variety of forms: the 22-degree and 46-degree halos, the lower solar column, the false sun, the upper tangent arc, the circumzenitic arc, the incomplete parlegal circle, and others.