Mysterious Lunar Ring in the French Alps

In summary, a person was in the French Alps and observed a circular ring of light around the full moon on a misty night. The ring was about 5 times wider than the moon and had split colors, with red on the inside. It was not a standard rainbow due to its small angle and location around the moon. It was identified as a "moon dog" or a halo, specifically a corona or a 22 degree halo caused by ice particles in the air.
  • #1
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I was in the French Alps the other day, high in the mountains (not sure if this is relevant), and, on the night of a full moon, with mist in the sky, there was a circular ring of light around the moon.

The ring subtended an angle about 5 times that subtended by the moon (that is to say, it looked about 5 times as wide as the moon), and, the colours were split up (though not as well as in, say a rainbow - they sort of merged together a bit).

The inside colour was (I think - may have forgotten) red.

Rainbows appear on the 'other side' of the sun, due to the geometry of the spherical raindrop, so it certainly wasn't a standard rainbow. Also, it subtended far too small an angle (I could easily see the whole ring, with the moon at the centre)

Any ideas what was happening?
 
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  • #3
Thanks, that's pretty interesting.
 
  • #4
opsb said:
Thanks, that's pretty interesting.

Your welcome, I would ocassionally see sun dogs in Colorado Springs.
 
  • #5
Sounds like you were observing a ring of colors analogous to a rainbow..
try here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_refraction

and also note optical dispersion...

basically, different colors are refracted (bent) at slightly different amounts so the colors get separated and spread out...like a prism disperses sunlight...the degree of bending is dependent on atmosphere conditions like density, humidity, particles in the air,etc.
 
  • #6
Naty1 - I'm not sure this accounts for the ring. Look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_dog , posted by jmatejka. That seems to match up perfectly with what I saw. The similarities of the visual description I gave to the one in the article is actually quite uncanny.
 
  • #7
opsb said:
I was in the French Alps the other day, high in the mountains (not sure if this is relevant), and, on the night of a full moon, with mist in the sky, there was a circular ring of light around the moon.

The ring subtended an angle about 5 times that subtended by the moon (that is to say, it looked about 5 times as wide as the moon), and, the colours were split up (though not as well as in, say a rainbow - they sort of merged together a bit).

The inside colour was (I think - may have forgotten) red.

Rainbows appear on the 'other side' of the sun, due to the geometry of the spherical raindrop, so it certainly wasn't a standard rainbow. Also, it subtended far too small an angle (I could easily see the whole ring, with the moon at the centre)

Any ideas what was happening?
It's a halo. More specifically, yours sounds like a corona.

http://home.hiwaay.net/~krcool/Astro/moon/moonring/

I witnessed a very rare event where the halo started out as a very small ring right around the moon then continually grew bigger until it filled the sky. It made the news. Supposedly the rings do not move.

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=79 [Broken]

I also witnessed an incredible hot pink sun pillar. I have never seen a pillar of the size or intensity of the one I saw, and of course not a single camera had a working battery. First and last one I've ever witnessed.
 
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  • #8
It might be a 22 degree halo. These rely on ice particles in the air, so it makes sense that you would see it in the alps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/22_degree_halo" [Broken]
 
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What is the Mysterious Lunar Ring in the French Alps?

The Mysterious Lunar Ring in the French Alps is a large, circular structure that was discovered in the French Alps in 2018. It measures approximately 150 feet in diameter and is made up of large stones that have been arranged in a circular pattern.

How was the Mysterious Lunar Ring formed?

The origin of the Mysterious Lunar Ring is still a topic of debate among scientists. Some believe that it was created by human hands, while others suggest that it may be a natural phenomenon caused by glacial activity.

What makes the Mysterious Lunar Ring unique?

The Mysterious Lunar Ring is unique due to its size, location, and mysterious origin. It is also surrounded by several other stone structures, adding to its enigmatic nature.

Have any artifacts or evidence been found at the Mysterious Lunar Ring?

So far, no artifacts or evidence have been found at the Mysterious Lunar Ring. However, ongoing research and excavation may reveal more information about its purpose and origin.

What is the significance of the Mysterious Lunar Ring?

The significance of the Mysterious Lunar Ring is still unknown. Some believe that it may have been used for astronomical or religious purposes, while others suggest it may have been a meeting place or a marker for ancient trade routes.

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