A pure 22 degree Lunar Halo

Around 22:40 CET, 25 December 2004

A remarkably bright and distinct Lunar Halo observed before midnight on Christmas Day 2004 from Ottobrunn, near Munich (Lunar altitude ~ 70 degrees). The 22 degree halo is circular and shows no evidence of a circumscribed halo (caused by pencil-like hexagonal crystals floating with their long axes horzontal). A symmetrical halo like this is probably due to clusters of small hexagonal crystals that, although floating in stable configurations, contain crystals arranged pseudo-randomly in space. The halo was photographed with a Sony DSC-F717 camera at f/4 with exposures of between 20 and 30 seconds at 100ASA.