Strange Rainbow-Like Solar Phenomenon Captured Over Sweden: VIDEO

by Suzanne Halliburton
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LUIS GANDARILLAS/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Skiers in Sweden witnessed this glorious example of Mother Nature’s own kaleidoscope. It’s a solar phenomenon only seen in very chilly climates.

So what was this solar phenomenon? It’s a solar halo with an appearance from what’s called a sundog. Someone shot the video of the halo as it appeared over a snowy mountain. Skiers were out in full force enjoying the day, but the halo gives the scene a celestial feel. The image almost appears like a giant, stained glass window with shades of luminous pearl and hints of gold.

Take a look this stunning sight. The viral outdoor video already has more than 1.6 million views. It should be noted that the video is several years old. The photographer took it at the Swedish ski resort of Vemdalen. But it got another bounce this week on Twitter. The beauty of Mother Nature is timeless.

This Solar Phenomenon Is All About the Ice Crystals

So how does this solar phenomenon happen? It’s all about the ice crystals high up in the atmosphere. Light from the sun or the moon refracts, or changes direction, as it hits the ice crystals in the wispy cirrus clouds high in the sky. They’re generally found at an altitude above 16,500 feet. Plus, if you see the clouds approaching, you know something weather-related is coming. They usually usher in a front.

Weather.gov also gives us more information about a solar phenomenon called a sundog. For these to occur, it’s all about the specific angle, 22 degrees either to the right or left of the sun. Sometimes, it’s both. The light can splinter into colors, going from red to blue depending on how close the ice crystals are to the sun. If it’s very close, then the color is red. You see blue if the crystals are farther away. The site says that sundogs also are known as “mock suns.”

These solar phenomena also can occur when the moon is out. And remember what we said about cirrus clouds serving as a harbinger for a weather change? As folklore suggests, a ring around the moon means rain soon.

There’s another kind of solar phenomenon called a sun pillar. This happens at sunrise or sunset. Again, it’s all about the light and the ice in the cirrus clouds. As the ice crystals fall through the air, light hits them and reflects. The visual appears as a golden shaft forming above the sun. It’s all why we love to see Mother Nature in all her glory.

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