What Is the Giant Ring Around the Moon Called?

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The giant ring around the moon is a ring of light. Find out what the giant ring around the moon is called with help from an educational professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Moons & Planets
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Hi. My name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist. And this is, "What is the giant ring around the moon called?" So sometimes when you look at the moon from earth, here's where you're standing on the surface, you look at the moon and you see this sort of rind around it. This is the rind of light. This is actually about 22 angular degrees in the sky and this is called the halo. And this is an optical illusion. It turns out that there is a lot of ice molecules in the atmosphere and they end up acting like a prism. So the light reflecting from the moon ends up being refracted into a certain angle. So around the moon it forms a circle of light and that has to do with just the refraction of hexagonal sort of crystals in the atmosphere. You can think of this if you have some sort of a triangular crystal. If you have the light coming in it's going to end up being bent in some way. So the light coming in from the moon is actually being refracted and bent in different ways. So what we see is actually an optical ring called the halo and that's what is, that's the name of the ring around the moon. My name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm and astrophysicist, and this is, "What is the name of the ring around the moon called?"

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