What Makes A Rainbow Around The Sun?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - You've all seen rainbows on those days where it's raining and the sun's out at the same time. But what about those times when you see a rainbow-like halo around the sun or moon?

It's the same physics, really. The halos are usually seen when there are high clouds overhead. Those clouds are made of tiny ice crystals, which will refract the sunlight much like a prism will.

Those same high clouds can cause a rainbow halo around the moon as well.

It can be a sign that rain is on the way, as high clouds usually precede a storm front.

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