Halo around sun creates buzz

Weather phenomenon hits Central Florida day after 'blood moon'

ORLANDO, Fla. – A halo around the sun created a buzz Wednesday in Central Florida, prompting several Local 6 viewers to ask what was causing the ring.

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The ring is technically called a 22-degree sun halo, and it forms as sunlight is refracted in ice crystals in high clouds, according to the National Weather Service.  The crystals bend direct sunlight, projecting it elsewhere into the sky, and at a certain angle -- 22 degrees -- a halo appearing to be a circular rainbow can be seen around the sun.

The phenomenon comes a day after a "blood moon," caused by a lunar eclipse, prompted people to gaze skyward.

In a total lunar eclipse, the full moon turns a coppery red as it passes into Earth's shadow. During the process, the moon's bright glow dims, taking on a red hue because of shimmers of sunlight and sunsets seeping through the Earth's atmosphere.

Dust and sulfur dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere can affect the size of the shadow. The moon has to be full for the total lunar eclipse to occur.

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As more of the moon emerges from the shadow, its red tint fades as it gets lighter and transitions to its normal silver color. The entire reddening process takes about an hour.

[PHOTOS:  Viewers share 'blood moon' pictures]

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.