Photographer captures rare “Ice Halos” in the sky from Hurricane Sandy


posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 2:58 PM EDT


Hurricane Sandy has produced many dramatic photos in the last few days from shots of disaster in New York to satellite images and videos showing the power of Mother Nature from space. 

Here's an intriguing image, though, that we weren't expecting. It's a photo captured by solar physicist David Hathaway of NASA showing rare Ice Halos produced by Sandy above the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Image by David Hathaway of NASA/MSFC

Scientists believe the halos, which have appeared in the sky from New England to Alabama, were caused by Sandy's outer bands passing over the area and leaving behind a thin layer of ice crystals in the cirrus clouds. Sunlight shining through the crystals in the clouds creates the ice halo effect.

To get a clearer idea of what's going on in Hathaway's image, we've annotated the shot below with all the various natural phenomena labeled.



For more info on Ice Halos, click here.

If you liked the halos, check out this striking image of "Red Sprites" space lightning captured in August with a modified Canon 5D Mark II.