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Posted by on Nov 5, 2010 in Featured, Greg, Outdoors, Photography | 4 comments

Friday Photo 34: Haloed Sun

As I mentioned in my comments on Monday, the subject of my Friday Photo today is the halo that formed around the sun. The phenomenon was visible across large parts of Johannesburg for most of Monday morning, and caused a flurry of activity on Twitter and Facebook pages. It even made the radio news broadcasts, and appeared in the print media later that day.

Haloed Sun (c) Greg Pillhofer, 2010

It’s a phenomenon know as a halo (for obvious reasons) or a nimbus, icebow or gloriole. Today’s show in the skies over Johannesburg looks like a 22° halo specifically. It forms as sunlight is refracted in hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. Traditional belief has it that the halo is a harbinger of rain to come later. This turned out to be pretty accurate as we had a pretty solid rain fall that evening and through most of the night.

The image has been slightly straightened, and has had a couple of spots cleaned up from marks on the lens that I didn’t realise were there at the time.

“Haloed Sun” © Greg Pillhofer, 2010
Original Capture: 01/11/2010, 10:22am – Johannesburg, South Africa
Canon EOS 350D | f/29 | 1/1600 sec | ISO-1600 | 25mm | No Flash


  1. Gorgeous. So, is it yours? Can I use it for my A Story for Every Picture series??? Please? I can beg…

    • Yip it is all my own work WSG. You’re welcome to use it with pleasure on condition you drop a link to your post when you make it.

      Here’s a shortcode link to the full sized image file:

  2. Probably the best photo of the phenomenon I’ve seen.

    • Thanks Cindy. I’m glad I was free to catch it that morning. A very visually intriguing thing.


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