YOUR PHOTOS: Did you see a ring around the moon this past weekend?

The halo around the moon was caused by the refraction of light in ice crystals up above

Photo of a 22° halo around the moon Saturday night. Taken by Lara Wilson of Buchanan, VA (Copyright 2023 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

ROANOKE, Va.UPDATE: This was seen again early Monday morning in parts of the Roanoke Valley.

It was Saturday night when the nearly full moon put on a show in the night sky.

A halo formed around it, which caused some of us to take out our phones and send pictures.

You can do so too by making your own profile on Pin It here.


Sunday Feb 5 - Full Moon - it has rings!

Adam M

Moon tonight


These halos form when the moon (or sun during the day) light refracts or bends when passing through ice crystals. This refraction is similar to when you see a “rainbow” on your house’s floor on a sunny day.

Clouds (cirrus clouds) at the 30,000-foot level were cold enough to be composed of ice Saturday night, which led to this refraction of moonlight.

The angle at which that refraction happens is 22°, which is why you’ll often hear atmospheric scientists/meteorologists refer to this as a 22° halo.

How 22° halos form

About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.