The U.S. National Weather Service in Amarillo, Texas posted this photo on its Facebook page this weekend. Joshua Thomas in Red River, New Mexico captured these magnificent arcs in the sky on the morning of January 9, 2015. Look below for a labeled version of the same photo.
Ice halos are commonly seen by those who look at the skies; we receive several photos of ice halos from somewhere in the world every week, especially in wintertime. Often, we’ll receive many such photos, across a particular region, sometimes for several days in a row. Most ice halos appear as a circle or ring around the sun or moon. Sometimes, if conditions are just right, you do see these wonderful, rare events when the whole sky is filled with halo arcs.
Ice halos are caused by ice crystals in the upper atmosphere, which both refract and reflect sunlight or moonlight.