By in Science

A Big Ring Around the Moon

Last night there was a big ring around the moon. I noticed it just before midnight when I was standing outside in my garden. I had a clear view of a complete circle around the moon - and the bright star just beside the Moon was also visible, it was actually the planet Jupiter.

I stood there for a few minutes marvelling at how it was a complete circle and really well defined - and all the way round the moon. I then considered taking a photo, but decided my camera phone wouldn't be good enough, so I got my "proper camera" out. It's got some night shot automatic settings and I took some photos of the moon, but when I looked at the screen they didn't seem all that good, so I never downloaded them from the camera card as that takes me 10-15 minutes.

It was a really clear night - with the temperature round about freezing. The ring round the moon is caused by ice crystals at high altitude - and the light from the moon bounces off them.

It was amazing to see!

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Hollyhocks100 wrote on February 3, 2015, 10:08 AM

I have wonderful views where I live, skies are amazing. I never knew what caused these rings around the moon until reading this post, now I do , thanks to you emoticon :smile:

Squidwhisperer wrote on February 3, 2015, 10:48 AM

I've found that sort of thing is awful tough to photo successfully, without the proper filters and such. Contrast between the light and dark is just so extreme. By the way, it seems we have the same moon. I had a quite similar moment 2 nights ago...

NorthernLight wrote on February 3, 2015, 11:19 AM

I'm out tonight so shall take a look. I din't realise that was Jupiter.

UK_Writer wrote on February 3, 2015, 11:54 AM

I just wish I'd taken more care to get some good photos of the ring around the moon last night as it was amazingly clear! I guess I'd have had to have understood my camera's manual settings though.

UK_Writer wrote on February 3, 2015, 11:55 AM

Yes, tricky - you need to understand what you're doing as the moon's so bright, the sky's so black - and the moon ring in the photo is, by comparison with the moon, quite indistinct.

UK_Writer wrote on February 3, 2015, 11:55 AM

Yes, looking at the moon at midnight, Jupiter was just down to the left of the moon. I always know that if there's a "really bright star in the sky" it's most likely Jupiter or Venus. Last night it was Jupiter.

LeaPea2417 wrote on February 3, 2015, 1:04 PM

The moon can be so pretty and clear here on clear cold nights. Last night it was too cold to go out and look. I just looked from the window.

Kasman wrote on February 3, 2015, 1:50 PM

From where I am just north of Edinburgh I saw it too. Always a sign of a cold night.

Magnolia wrote on February 3, 2015, 2:04 PM

In the old days a halo around the moon meant someone would be leaving for heaven soon. If the halo was red it meant a terrible storm was coming lol

GayleStorm wrote on February 3, 2015, 2:05 PM

That sounds like an amazing sight. I'm quite fond of full moons, especially unique ones like harvest moons and the moon ring you saw. Hopefully I'll witness it some day.

rana199426 wrote on February 3, 2015, 7:55 PM

Oh! DOn't remind me! I've seen this once or twice and it was a super amazing view!!! I wonder if there's any explanation behind it :)

UK_Writer wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:07 PM

Oh blimey - those old sayings have a lot of truth in them quite often!

UK_Writer wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:07 PM

The only explanation is: it's bl00dy cold out there! It's the reflection on the ice crystals that creates it.

valmnz wrote on February 5, 2015, 1:55 PM

What a pity you couldn't share it with us, it sounds beautiful. There's always something magical about the moon on a clear night.

chrisandmark wrote on February 5, 2015, 10:56 PM

I've noticed how bright the moon has been for the last few nights

MommyCharm wrote on February 6, 2015, 3:50 AM

We had that phenomena twice last year here in the Philippines and according to the meteorologists, that's what they call "moon halo" and the halo was brought by the ice or water particles in the atmosphere. So it is most likely to appear on a clear and cold night. It's beautiful, isn't it?