Sun Halo: Optical phenomena at Kota Kinabalu

I still sleeping at my bed in my room, my friend rang me and tell me that there are ring halo around the sun. Not a really interesting sight because i saw it almost 5 times for this few years, but never took a single photo on it. Halo according to Wikipedia is a

A halo (ἅλως; also known as a nimbus or Gloriole) is a ring of light that surrounds an object.

Halos, also known as ice bows, are optical phenomena that appear near or around the Sun or Moon, and sometimes near other strong light sources such as street lights. There are many types of optical halos, but they are mostly caused by ice crystals in cold cirrus clouds located high (5–10 km, or 3–6 miles) in the upper troposphere. The particular shape and orientation of the crystals is responsible for the type of halo observed. Light is reflected and refracted by the ice crystals and may split up into colors because of dispersion, similarly to the rainbow.

Sometimes in very cold weather optical halos are formed by crystals close to ground level, called diamond dust. The crystals behave like jewels, refracting and reflecting sunlight between their faces, sending shafts of light in particular directions.

Atmospheric phenomena such as halos were used as an empirical means of weather forecasting before meteorology was developed.

Other common optical phenomena involving water droplets rather than ice crystals include the glory and the rainbow.


I found out it not easy to shot any photos that include the sun with a dSlr camera. One has to be very careful not to look directly at the sun or risk your eyes gone blind. The lens feature in dSlr lens can direct into your eye receptors and injured it permanently. So, i have to be careful not to look directly to the sun too long. Then i thought of an idea of what every sun astronomers do by putting a black object in the middle to cover out the sun. Thou, this is not the safest way because the risk of looking directly to the sun with the lens still there. I have to snap the sun very fast and most of the shot not really aligned well.

The photo above was taken directly using the camera. I had to shot it fast and not directly focus on the sun. The black round was added after that using photo shop.

The photo above was taken with a 10 cent on top the lens. I can put the coin on the lens because of the attachment filters and i don’t have to worry of scratching the lens. Still i need to be careful to avoid looking direct to the sun.

The sun halo looks better and clearer after post processing using the photo shop. It to believe the ring should be like rainbow and not a white line due to the definition from wikipedia. I use a smaller coin that is 5 cent for this shot. I tape the coin on a silo tape and attached it at the center of the lens. Now, the black point look smaller and one can see the ring better. This is not any professional astronomy shot but merely a photo testing from me of a phenomenon that my friend woke me up for. Thanks for that!

I believe lots of people saw and photograph this phenomenon. Here i listed some blog that wrote about it in instant and post it in their blog.

Life Less Ordinary: Hello Halo Amazing Sun Phenomenon In Borneo Kota Kinabalu! (22 degree Halo)
Life of a Borneo Lady: A Halo Afternoon
Julian and Morin Photo Blog: Unique Phenomenon
Bits of Life: The sun is magnificient, surrounded by halo-rainbow!!
The Autumn Party: Halo!
Mizz Luzy: Fresh from the Oven

To see latest update, please click site


2 thoughts on “Sun Halo: Optical phenomena at Kota Kinabalu

  1. hehehe… sa hiran, this phenomena not once in the life time bah.. always happen but no ppl aware.. i saw it happen many time..

    but i dont say anythig at office cos they had a different tot about that.. ada yg bilang, they saw a face la, ajaib la, if u zoom can see UFO la… bla bla la.. so i just ignore it.. (i think thats effect of the angkasawan ngam2 launch kan) hahaha.. Funny.. Funny..

    normally it will happen after rainy day on the day after…

    anyway.. nice photoshoping.. i like the background (skies) color.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s