Also known as a "moonbow" or "halo", this phenomenon appears in conjunction with a full moon. There appears to be a whitish ring, approximately 10 to 20 times the size of the moon, surrounding the moon and centered on it. It is caused by reflection of the light from the full moon in the ice particles floating in the clouds, as opposed to a rainbow, where light refracts in the water vapor that makes up the clouds. Since this happens most effectively at a certain angle, this ring appears at the bottom of the clouds, and since similar triangles must form between the moon, the refracting surface, and the observation point, the "highlighted" clouds are at approximately the same distance from the moon, creating the image of a ring.


First explained by British astronomer Monty Korpe in 1941, these rings are cause for excitement. They are thought to be the inspiration for the 1996 movie, Independence Day, as the dark night sky within the ring appears to be a spaceship, and when the spaceship attacks, it emits a light glow around the rim, and an intense light from the center, much like a Montesian Moon Ring.

(This page is in the process of being edited. The following is from an article on the Leonid meteor shower, for purposes of providing structure only.)

  • "There are no guarantees in meteor work ... observers should be alert as often as conditions allow throughout the shower, in case something unexpected happens, this year 2009 the best viewing spots will be Southern Asia, Northern and Eastern Australia.

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