Photos of the Mesmerizing Sun Halo that Appeared Over New York Today

Sun Halo 8

Earlier today, residents of New York and the surrounding area were privy to a really amazing celestial treat; it’s called a Sun Halo, and one spent some time today hovering over The Big Apple and making people wonder if Martians were finally invading.

Fortunately (or not, depending on how you feel about it), there were no Martians, just a cool and somewhat rare phenomenon that had people and photographers turning cameras to the sky all day. One such photographer was Richard Silver, who was kind enough to shoot us an e-mail and offer to let us display the photos he had taken.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with meteorology, a Halo is a type of optical phenomenon that can happen around the sun or moon. It’s also referred to as a 22-degree halo because it forms a ring exactly 22-degrees from the sun.

In order for a Sun Halo to happen, a thin veil of high-level clouds has to put some hexagonal ice crystals at exactly right spot. Once they’re in place, these particles refract light twice (on the way in and way out) bending the light approximately 22-degrees from its intended path and producing a ring of light around the sun that goes from red (~21.54°) on the inside to blue (~22.37°) on the outside.

Here are a few more of Silver’s pictures of the phenomenon:

Sun Halo 7

Sun Halo 6

Sun Halo 5

Sun Halo 4

Sun Halo 3

Sun Halo 2

If you want to see more Sun (or Moon) Halo pictures, feel free to Google “New York Sun Halo” and you’ll wind up with plenty of options. Several people even took videos of the phenomenon, with varying levels of “double rainbow” amazement included.

Image credits: Photographs by Richard Silver and used with permission.

  • Mak Wa

    New York, the greatest city on Earth? I’m sure many people from other great cities around the world and other parts of the USA would have a say about that claim.

    It should have read “one of the greatest cities on Earth” not “the greatest city on Earth”.

  • Guest

    We got to witness this in Miami yesterday.

  • worker88

    I witnessed this in Miami yesterday.

  • J

    I don’t think it’s that rare: I saw one two weeks ago and it remained for a couple hours.

  • DamianM

    Apparently they saw this in Miami yesterday

  • DamianM

    where do they get off!

  • J

    And I also took pictures of the phenomenom.

  • Fuzztographer

    Rare? Mmm, ok, I see these things several times a year.

  • foggodyssey

    I would agree, I guess this isn’t that common at all. I was in India once backpacking around and seen it on a random day. I snapped a shot of it but afterwards I found out it’s more common then you think.

  • TJ in KY

    I’ve never seen a sun halo but several months ago we had a moon halo here in Kentucky.

  • Mike

    Great shots, not a common sight. I managed to capture it in Vancouver, Canada once:

  • FotoEm33

    Blah I’ve seen Halo this numerous times.

  • Nathan Blaney

    Although I happen to agree with the author, I don’t think I’d get all worked up if someone from another city declared thier city to be the greatest on earth – we all DO tend to have some geographic loyalties, I think.

  • Haloer

    This is one of the most common halo there is, visible many times a year. Take a look at those ice-halos captured in the wake of hurricane Sandy and see something more rare…

  • Christopher Neilson

    Your report on this “optical phenomenon” is one of two things: ignorance or propaganda. while you are correct to say the natural occurrence of this is rare, at the same time you are wrong. this “optical phenomenon” as you call it is actually a result of dangerously high levels of highly reflective atmospheric aerosols. This is by no means a rare occurrence, i have personally seen this same picture alteast 2 times this week alone, here in Reno Nevada. This is the desired effect of successful Geo Engineering/Weather Modification projects being carried out on a daily basis by our government in an effort to “reverse” global warming.
    I am sorry to rain on your happy topic, but next time you see this you will hopefully remember this and realize that the things going on above your head daily are responsible for you and your loved ones poor health conditions.
    Wake Up and Share this info with the ones you love.
    Good Day and carry on your beautiful life.


  • Steve

    I’m from the UK and London isn’t the greatest city on earth. I do prefer it to New York though :)

  • Steve

    LOL, that made me laugh. I presume you were joking. Hope nobody takes it seriously, as this phenomenon was around long before we ever heard about global warming. Unless the US government has been doing this for as long as I can remember all over the world?

  • frod

    whether he is correct or not, we have been pumping toxins into the atmosphere decades before we “heard about global warming”. That is kind of how the cause and effect argument works.

  • aimetti

    haha this has to be sarcasm , there’s no other alternative.

  • Amy Reid

    my street lights have this halo when chemtrailing of a night. the sun n Australia was doing this today because its a chembow a chemical bow no rain involved . opposite to a rainbow where you need rain to see it. weather modification is real and this is it in the flesh. plz don’t believe this is natural think to when we have seen or heard this occur.

  • Amy Reid


  • Christopher Neilson

    i would guess that 70% of the people who follow my FB page are from other countries (Australia being #1) so yes it is a global project. Germany has admitted to its activities, the U.N. is involved, and the eugenics supportive Bill Gates has dumped billions into the “cause”. Weather modification has been used by USA since the Vietnam war, but has been researched, documented, and patented since the early 1940’s. Some of the earliest patents held for the delivery systems were owned by MONSANTO. (surprise).

    I agree that a naturally occurring “sun halo” is very rare. there is lots of variables that have to be just right, and the fact that so many comments on these photos are people saying they see them often, would lead me to believe that what they are seeing is actually called a “chembow”

    I have been documenting the skies over Reno, Nevada daily for close to 2 years now through photography and time lapse, and these chembows happen all the time.

    So, no. I am not joking, and i hope everyone reading this takes it seriously.

    i posted 2 pictures because i would like your opinion on when Natural Clouds began to posses such reflective properties, that they cast shadows on the clouds above. Those properties occur due to the presence of aluminum oxide.

    Thank you for commenting. I hope that the next time you look up, you will think about this.

    Good Day

  • Christopher Neilson

    Thanks Frod.

  • Christopher Neilson

    Thanks Amy. and hey i think you follow my page.. Right?

  • Mark

    I agree! Research “HAARP”. I seen on Discovery Chanel how they can make it snow by sending, i believe, Hydrogen crystals into the atmosphere which water freezes too and dammit if it dont snow.

  • Steve

    Funny how these were around centuries ago, long before global warming and internet paranoia.

  • Samuli Vuorinen

    To be honest, 22 degree rings are very common. They can be seen roughly 140 times per year, which makes them much more common than eg. rainbows. There are a lot of rare forms of ice crystal halos, but the 22 degree ring is not one of them.

  • Steve

    A quick search and you’ll see the Greeks and the Romans often saw a sun halo. Nothing new, not as rare as you think. Not surprising that people notice them more now because almost everyone carries a camera and takes photos.

  • Pinto

    “I’m sure many people from other great cities around the world and other parts of the USA would have a say about that claim.” –

    But They would just be wrong ;-)

  • Joshua Morin

    You’re so cool

  • tyrohne

    Two questions:

    Did you also happen to see the Covenant?

    What about The Flood?

  • agour

    There seems to be a big white box at the top of petapixel today. I’m not sure what it’s doing there, but it’s annoying having to scroll past it

  • Froggy

    Most Claustrophic City on Earth.

    I swear, I don’t know how people live in Manhattan. Way to many people living on top of each other on a little island. All I wanted to do is get the hell out of there. And i’m from Chicago.

  • Steve

    I wonder what conspiracy theory people are dreaming up for that one :)

  • Stop Chemtrails

    WOW how can u people besides the few not notice the sky yesterday was covered in CHEMTRAILS!!! it happens almost every day here in New York …Lines in the sky chembows how are u people so blind all you have to do is look up and you’ll see the planes spraying all day just LOOK UP…the funniest thing about the article is they said ice crystals had to form a certain way for this “halo” to appear… but when we talk about chemtrails the debunkers say its really ice crystals caused by the jet contrails so where did these. special ice crystals come from yesterday??? CHEMTRAILS!!! Please help us our govt is killing us…

  • Fielding J. Hurst

    There was a “sun halo” in Grand Cayman last week.

  • Clarke

    Saw this in Cuba in mid April.

  • DLCade

    I apologize for the strong statement, certainly didn’t mean any offense by it :) It’s been changed.

  • agour

    I think the government put it there

  • Cole H

    I invite you all to come to northern canada (or alaska). This ring is a common winter occurrence here and we commonly refer to it as a “sun dog”. When I say common, any time the temperature dips below -20 to -30 degrees celcius one of these pops up.

  • amos

    this is not a normal sundog it is caused by chemicals in the atmosphere from jet exhaust, some days i see four of them and sometimes i see them every day of the week. some call them chembows, look up and watch the persistent trails in the sky

  • Ursula Stouffer

    Celestial treat? This kind of thing USED to be rare… now it is an everyday occurrence, thanks to chemtrailing…. it is those chemicals in the air that now cause the halo effect. It isn’t a treat, we’re being poisoned.

  • Jamie Bejune

    those are chemtrail aerosols reflected in the sun>> they spray you like roaches you brainwashed idiots

  • Dimpho

    We had this today in Gaborone, Botswana

  • Faye Brown

    The sun is yet casting it’s glow .. and the sphere object behind the sun camouflaged in an illusion of darkness, has it halo …there’s more to this than meets the understanding given to mainstream …

  • Arianna DX Anti-geoengineering

    it’s called geoengineering caused by chemtrails!

    A real cloud blocks the sun completely and passes by instantly and the sun shines again; a fake haze instead only makes the sun a halo and stays there for hours! wake up peeps!

  • Arianna DX Anti-geoengineering

    google geoengineering… nothing natural about this sun haze/halo