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Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Quadruple Lunar Halo Over Spain
NASA ^ | December 03, 2012 | (see photo credit)

Posted on 12/02/2012 9:17:35 PM PST by SunkenCiv

Explanation: Sometimes falling ice crystals make the atmosphere into a giant lens causing arcs and halos to appear around the Sun or Moon. This past Saturday night was just such a time near Madrid, Spain, where a winter sky displayed not only a bright Moon but as many as four rare lunar halos. The brightest object, near the top of the above image, is the Moon. Light from the Moon refracts through tumbling hexagonal ice crystals into a 22 degree halo seen surrounding the Moon. Elongating the 22 degree arc horizontally is a circumscribed halo caused by column ice crystals. More rare, some moonlight refracts through more distant tumbling ice crystals to form a (third) rainbow-like arc 46 degrees from the Moon and appearing here just above a picturesque winter landscape. Furthermore, part of a whole 46 degree circular halo is also visible, so that an extremely rare -- especially for the Moon -- quadruple halo was actually imaged. The snow-capped trees in the foreground line the road Puerto de Navacerrada in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range near Madrid. Far in the background is a famous winter skyscape that includes Sirius, the belt of Orion, and Betelgeuse all visible between the inner and outer arcs. Halos and arcs typically last for minutes to hours, so if you do see one there should be time to invite family, friends or neighbors to share your unusual lensed vista of the sky.

December 03, 2012

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Astronomy; Astronomy Picture of the Day; Science
KEYWORDS: apod; astronomy; lunarhalo; science; spain
[Credit & Copyright: Dani Caxete]

1 posted on 12/02/2012 9:17:45 PM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: brytlea; cripplecreek; decimon; bigheadfred; KoRn; Grammy; married21; steelyourfaith; Mmogamer; ...

We're back to terrestrial shots, this one's kinda neat though.
Quick Poll: Have you ever seen a lunar halo?

2 posted on 12/02/2012 9:20:46 PM PST by SunkenCiv (
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To: SunkenCiv

God’s glory!

3 posted on 12/02/2012 9:24:32 PM PST by jungleboy
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To: SunkenCiv

I didn’t know it snowed in Madrid.


4 posted on 12/02/2012 9:44:15 PM PST by bimboeruption (Clinging to my Bible and my HK.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Your a better sighted man than I am, Gungha Din!

22* halo...check!
Circumscribed Halo...WTF?!? That I can’t make out at all.
46* “rainbow like” halo...check!
“Part of a 46* circular halo...”...HTH is that any different than the 46* halo itself???

I’d love to see Les Cowley at take this apart, and highlight & explain each of the halos.

5 posted on 12/02/2012 11:13:52 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Love me, love my guns!©)
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To: SunkenCiv

Kinda neat? LOL! You’re a master of understatement, Mr. Civilizations. [smiles]

Thank you for the spectacular APOD!

6 posted on 12/03/2012 1:29:51 PM PST by TheOldLady
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To: bimboeruption

It does now, what with global warming and all.

7 posted on 12/03/2012 1:33:09 PM PST by Last of the Mohicans
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To: ApplegateRanch
That I can’t make out at all.

Must be the New Math, I only see two as well.
8 posted on 12/03/2012 4:18:44 PM PST by plsvn
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