Hong Kong witnesses rare atmospheric phenomenon ‘Solar Halo’ today

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10th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) Hong Kong recently experienced a captivating celestial event as it missed the opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse. However, today, another astronomical spectacle unfolded – a “Solar Halo.” A halo of rainbow colours encircled the sun, suspended in the sky, visible across various districts of the city. Numerous internet users eagerly shared their photographs of this mesmerizing solar halo on social media platforms.

In the realm of online discussions surrounding the solar halo, some netizens referenced a scene from the popular anime series “Dragon Ball,” where the protagonist Goku employs a technique called the “Spirit Bomb.” They humorously captioned their posts with Goku’s iconic line, “Sorry, I was just gathering energy to scare all of you.” However, there were also speculations among netizens considering the solar halo as a potential precursor to earthquakes, reminiscent of a recent major earthquake in Hualien, Taiwan.

According to explanations provided by the Hong Kong Observatory, a solar halo occurs when sunlight passes through cirrus clouds composed of ice crystals, resulting in refraction or reflection of the sunlight or moonlight. Typically, a solar halo takes the form of a circular or arc-shaped phenomenon, exhibiting seven distinct colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

Solar halos can be classified into two types: the “small halo” and the “large halo.” The small halo, also known as the 22-degree halo, appears with a faint red inner ring centred around the light source, occasionally accompanied by purple or white rings. The sky within the halo is noticeably darker than the area outside the halo. On the other hand, the large halo, with a radius of 46 degrees, is a rarer occurrence and generally darker in appearance compared to the small halo.