Ring around the Moon

Anytime we have a storm system approaching, the upper levels of the atmosphere typically moisten up first. That leads to those high, thin Cirrus clouds you see in the sky. You may have noticed them this evening with the sunset. It sure was a beautiful sunset! I took this picture of it.

Those same kinds of Cirrus clouds are now making for a ring around the Moon. Even without that ring, the night sky is so beautiful, lit up by a Moon that is nearing Full-Moon stage. In fact, if you thought New Years celebrations might already be a bit crazy this year, there’s also a Full Moon that night! ha

A ring around the Moon often precedes rain and that’s just what we have in tonight’s forecast. It won’t amount to much and some of you may not see a thing. It’s just some scattered showers that will be around the plateau. That rain chance is just 30%.

The ring around the Moon always forms a 22-degree arc around the Moon. As light passes through the ice crystals of the Cirrus clouds, it gets bent at 22 degrees. That leads to a 22-degree arc of light around the Moon. Pretty neat stuff, right?

So, go out and look up! There’s a bit of a breeze, so take a jacket. And you might ponder the idea that someday we’ll have people on that big rock in the sky again. They’ll be at the center of that ring of light and that will make it all the more inspiring!

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