An otherworldly lunar display captured two weeks ago (in three combined exposures) above Manitoba, Canada – moonlight refracted, reflected and diffused by millions of falling ice crystals. To wit:

The colourful rings are a corona caused by quantum diffraction by small drops of water or ice near the direction of the Moon. Outside of that, a 22-degree halo was created by moonlight refracting through six-sided cylindrical ice crystals. To the sides are moon dogs, caused by light refracting through thin, flat, six-sided ice platelets as they flittered toward the ground. Visible at the top and bottom of the 22-degree halo are upper and lower tangent arcs, created by moonlight refracting through nearly horizontal hexagonal ice cylinders. A few minutes later, from a field just off the road to work, the halo and arcs had disappeared, the sky had returned to normal — with the exception of a single faint moon.

Related: Halo You

(Image: Brent Mckean)

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