What Does It Mean When There Is a Ring Around the Moon With No Stars in It?

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Sometimes if we are looking at the moon from Earth, we see this giant ring of light around the moon. Find out what it means when there is a ring around the moon with no stars in it with help from an experienced education professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: About Astrophysics & Outer Space
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Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist and this is, "What does it mean when there is a ring around the moon with no stars in it?" So sometimes if we are looking at the moon from Earth, we see this giant ring of light around the moon. This is an angle of 22 degrees. Now where does it come from? What does it mean that we have that ring? So generally in the atmosphere of the Earth, we have a lot of little crystals and particles that can act as refractors. So let's say if we have a crystal and you have light coming in to the crystal, it's going to deflect it. So sometimes when we have a lot of these crystals in the atmosphere and we are looking through a part of these crystals, all the light that's reflecting from the moon towards our eye is being reflected and it creates this ring around it. So it's just a matter of refraction. So it just means that there is water crystals, there is crystals in the atmosphere and what it means is it's refracting the reflected light from the moon and the reason we don't see any stars behind it is because most of the light is being bent and it kind of becomes opaque in the sense that we can't see anything behind it, it's kind of blurring out the brightness of the stars because it's much brighter, our eye cannot detect what's behind it. My name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist, and this is "What does it mean, the ring around the moon?"

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