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Rare cosmic ‘ring’ witnessed in Kolkata
[Image: 05IN_INDIA_SUN_HALO_139555f.jpg]

A rare cosmic phenomenon in which a ‘ring’ encircles the sun was witnessed for almost forty minutes in the sky here on Monday.

The ring, called the 22 degree halo of the sun, occurs when cirrus clouds with hexagonal ice crystals are at an altitude of five to ten kms above the earth’s surface, Birla Planetarium director D.P. Duari told PTI here.

“The sun’s rays passing through the hexagonal crystals are reflected in such a manner that a 22 degree ring is formed. It is called 22 degree ring because the angular distance between the sun and the ring is close to 22 degree,” he said.

The ‘ring’ was a little reddish inside and bluish outside, with the inside darker, Mr. Duari said, adding such spectacles were observed from time to time in different parts of the world.

“This is purely a natural phenomenon and does not affect the climactic or atmospheric condition,” he said.

Last year, a similar ring was witnessed in North Bengal.

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