Johannesburg sun halo explained

2010-11-01 11:21

Cape Town - Residents of Johannesburg are transfixed by a halo which appears to be circling the sun.

"Could you possibly explain the bright circle/line around the sun right now?" said News24 user Charmaine.

"There's a very weird dark circle with a sort of rainbow around the sun in Jhb at the moment???" said another user.

These halos are caused when light from the sun refracts through ice crystals high in the atmosphere. Depending on the size of the crystals, the colour of the halo differs and they can also form around the moon.

"It has no implications for weather at all, I don't know about the folklore, but for us, nothing," Arno Dyason, weather forecaster at the SA Weather Service told News24.


He said that cirrus clouds drifting in from Botswana had contributed to the phenomenon and that it was quite uncommon in Gauteng.

"It's very uncommon here in Gauteng. I've spoken to some people on the phone and they say it's the first time they've seen it in a life time. It's more common in the Cape," he said.

"Sun halos are related to other phenomenon like sun pillars. If you see the sun setting and the ice falls, you see a pillar of light," Dr Enrico Olivier, astronomer at the South African Astronomical Observatory told News24.

"With a sun dog, you see three suns when its setting," he added.

Olivier said that they had 15 phone calls on Monday about the halo around the sun.

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  • panjo - 2010-11-01 11:47

    This is just God appreciating Zuma for firing nyanda and Hogan.

  • Kingsley - 2010-11-01 11:51

    I am in Pretoria and witnessed it too.

  • Andre - 2010-11-01 11:54

    It happened in 1993 or 1994 in JHB before. Saw it then as well.

  • Iona - 2010-11-01 11:57

    In the late 80's early 90's, I was then working in Benoni, We experienced the same phenomenon.

  • Mo - 2010-11-01 11:58

    It also happened in June or July of 1994

  • Selwyn Lloyd - 2010-11-01 12:01

    We get that often in Cape Town, so nothing new to us.

  • cambo - 2010-11-01 12:08

    Watch out for more and heavy rains, my granny told me that!

  • EDDY RODRIGUES - 2010-11-01 12:10

    This halo has happened before in Gauteng. It may have been in 1994. remember very clearly I was in my lunch break at school and we all looked up at the sun for ages admiring this amazing halo.
    So yes. its happened before.

  • Frik - 2010-11-01 12:25

    We are seeing this in Ermelo aswell

  • Frances Frylinck - 2010-11-01 12:26

    Beside the 22 degree halo, there appears to be a parhelic circle as well...

  • cosmic - 2010-11-01 12:29

    i remember it in '94, i was still in primary school. i remember that it was more sparkly than this one and there were no clouds in the sky!! was telling my fiancee bout it a few weeks ago

  • TheOne - 2010-11-01 12:30

    panjo, it would only be God's appreciation if the ANC changed to be non-racial or disappeared into the history books. In nay case, it is a weather phenomenon, not a spiritual thing.

  • Morina - 2010-11-01 12:32

    It is visible in Nelspruit/Mbombela, Mpumalanga, as well

  • Fortunate - 2010-11-01 12:35

    Today is my birthday, and to me creation is celebrating my birthday.... thank God for this wonder

  • KarenC - 2010-11-01 12:40

    The communication went out in my office, and you can see how quickly people read their emails. The patio was full of curious workers enjoying a break from their desks :) (Bryanston)

  • Carolus Midlandus - 2010-11-01 12:46

    This happened the other day here in KZN Midlands. I took photos of it. But .....ja, life stays the same afterwards. Don't panick heh.

  • just - 2010-11-01 12:49

    Be ready yall.. the end is near!!

  • Observer - 2010-11-01 12:53

    I am in Pretoria and also have witnessed this. It be the first time I have seen this thing happening and truely I have adored the beauty of our Mother Earth. It is so nice to see the art that is created by our planet.

  • Nico(snr) - 2010-11-01 12:55

    We serve an awesome God. Imagine the changes in our country if all those who looked up were looking up in prayer to the almighty!!!

  • Nerisa Brunette - 2010-11-01 12:55

    Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, awesome experience!

  • spook - 2010-11-01 12:57

    in middelburg and secunda as well

  • Mo - 2010-11-01 13:01

    I've seen it in Durban as well.

  • The_end_is_nigh - 2010-11-01 13:08

    Beware! Then end is nigh!! Joh'burg will disappear in one big sinkhole!!! Mark my words. Get out while you can and come to Cape Town!

  • GENIE - 2010-11-01 13:12

    The halos(or sometimes known as "sundogs" around the sun) are usually seen when there are high clouds overhead. Those clouds are made of tiny ice crystals, which will refract the sunlight much like a prism will. and voila! You have a rainbow halo around the sun. It works the same way with moonlight. It's usually a sign that rain is on the way, as high clouds usually precede s storm front.

  • Leon - 2010-11-01 13:16

    Ice crystals were placed in the sky by Aliens. They use thies circle to aim at our sun, the same way pilots in WWII used sights to attack enemy planes. They want to destroy our sun from inside the earth. They believe that nothing under the sun can stop corruption in our country. Therefore they have to destroy the sun in order to effect changes to corruption. This only proves that there is no such thing as gravity, because the earth sucks and it also proves that the sun is not yellow - it is chicken ..........

  • Tiny - Alberton - 2010-11-01 13:20

    I looked up and saw nothing of the sort but then my mate told me we were indoors !!!

  • synergy - 2010-11-01 13:25

    I think it's a glitch in the matrix...

  • Julia - 2010-11-01 13:30

    I have seen many halos here in JHB but around the moon. First time on the sun it is amazing

  • NotaKaypPerson - 2010-11-01 13:32

    @Selwyn: Good for you that you get this so often in Cape Town. Wouldn't it be more important for Cape Town to get the Currie Cup once in a blue moon (with halo or not)??

  • Chummo - 2010-11-01 13:39

    Whats with you guys. Its the hole in the Ozone layer. Buy more sun blok.

  • Ellmari - 2010-11-01 13:41

    It is beautiful!!

  • Johann - 2010-11-01 13:54

    As a low pressure weather system moves in over an area it is common to observe such phenomena as circles around the sun and moon - anywhere on the planet earth....although it it does not happen every time when a low pressure cell appears, it is true that moist/water droplets/ice crystals are responsible for the refraction of light into the known spectrum of "rainbow colours". It could be a forerunner of rain ( is a low pressure cell where air rises and clouds could form) but is is dependant on the water content of the rising air.

    Lastly God (not the dead one) reminds all you peoples that he will never destroy the earth with water again. I say "reminds" because it is clear you all forgot it already.....and it was not so long ago; only +-4000 years ago!
    Have a lovely day!

  • Alistair - 2010-11-01 14:05

    It happened last in 1988 in JHB. It was within a day or two of the planets lining up in the same year... so all the conpiracy nuts were really causing a stir with regards to the end of the world.

  • jackie - 2010-11-01 14:07

    we saw little men dancing around the circle and there was something like a spaceshift going back and forth at a very high speed and then it suddenly stopped!!! they all got in ant left again, it was amazing

  • black september - 2010-11-01 14:16

    and everyone thought the end was comming.. people can be so sheepish at times

  • val - 2010-11-01 14:25

    r people blind??This happens regularly and it ios beautiful to see, but today people call in etc when it is a regular occurance

  • touch - 2010-11-01 14:30

    its an amazing experience,wow!.jozi

  • Jack - 2010-11-01 14:48

    Ja,Bro - I seen dis ting in Durban when i was a laaitie. I was so amazed.I watched this ting for 4 hours. Today i lost 30% of my sight. Tip of the day : Dont look directly into da Sun.

  • Outlook - 2010-11-01 15:10

    It’s probably HAARP at work, ...modern leaders resolve their conflicts with words like these,... “HAARP”, stands for High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program. Be sure to check it out, and perhaps, make an indebt study of “2012 London Zion / The new Jerusalem” while you at it!

  • new era - 2010-11-01 15:18

    it stands for New Beginnings...

  • Doris castle - 2010-11-01 15:22

    Fantastic. i have seen this before in Jhb, many years ago. I know live on the Isle of Wight. feeling home sick.

  • Wow! - 2010-11-01 15:26

    Amazing - something happens in Gauteng, and it's front-page news... this is nothing unusual. Gauteng isn't the only province in SA, and this isn't unusual in other places.

  • Gautengaleng - 2010-11-01 15:50

    Apparently everything happens in Cape Town . But i'm not going to say anymore on that (go sharks). This phenomenen making headlines due to its rare occurrence on the highveld is a good change from the usual bad news we get fed daily. And people with somewhat inferior complexes about gauteng wrt their own provinces, get a life, we are all south africans and technically speaking , provincial demarcations has nothing whatsoever to do with anything.

  • Whunder - 2010-11-01 16:00

    I have pictures of this mornings halo with a planet moving past inside the scope of the halo

  • JJ - 2010-11-01 16:04

    I am in Bushbuckridge i also witnessed this amazing Halo around the Sun.

  • Oupa Kutoane - 2010-11-01 16:15

    As with all things in Nature, one has to thank The Almighty God who has put such a beautiful sight to human kind in other for us to appreciate and start embracing life and respecting all of His creation.

  • @TheOne - 2010-11-01 16:25

    Wow! Really? Thanks for that. I'm sure we can all sleep easy tonight knowing that it's just the weather and not the end of the world.

  • Wazza - 2010-11-01 16:28

    Come okes - this happened last Saturday as well - at about noon.

  • krantpz - 2010-11-01 16:40

    I remember this well, it was in 1993 ... about the same time of year. My GF at the time just dumped me and I still remember phoning her to look up at the sun. Clueless she was.

  • Frank - 2010-11-01 18:08

    I have one question in the photo i took and two other people there appears to be a extra dot below the sun it seem to have moved and disappeared what was that?