The Kaleidoscope Effect is a fascinating atmospheric phenomenon that has been recently observed in various locations across Bengaluru. For many years, this has been regarded as one of the rarest atmospheric phenomena. However, in recent times, a few reports have suggested that they are not nearly as uncommon as was once thought. Let's learn more about this fascinating phenomenon and what causes it.
What is the Kaleidoscope Effect?
The Kaleidoscope Effect is a common atmospheric optical phenomenon. It forms as sunlight or moonlight is refracted in millions of hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. Each crystal acts like a miniature prism.
The halo is large, spanning an angular distance of about 22 degrees. Depending on the perspective, it forms a circle or an ellipse centred on the sun or moon.
The crystals responsible are typically suspended at around 20 km to 25 km above the ground, well below cloud level, and in a layer where the temperature is below freezing but well above -40°C. To create this optical phenomenon, those crystals must be oriented and positioned in just the right position.
How Common is the Kaleidoscope Effect?
The Kaleidoscope Effect is a fairly common phenomenon. It's often seen when there are high-level cirrus clouds in the sky. These clouds form at high altitudes, where the air is icy, and water vapour can freeze into ice crystals.
Because this process of reflection and refraction happens only when light enters and exits a crystal at certain angles, halo displays tend to have rings with fixed radii from their point of origin. These radii are determined by the angles at which sunlight passes through a crystal before it exits toward an observer's eyes.
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The Kaleidoscope Effect forms a halo due to light being refracted and reflected by hexagonal ice crystals in the air. These ice crystals can be created when clouds are very high or when there is moisture in the air, which has not yet formed into raindrops.
Halos can be semi-circular arcs, rings, or complete circles. They are more often seen around the sun than around the moon because the light from the sun is brighter and more powerful than moonlight. To sum up, the Kaleidoscope Effect is a common atmospheric phenomenon occurring in various places across the world from time to time.
FAQs on Kaleidoscope Effect
Q.1. What is the Kaleidoscope Effect?
The Kaleidoscope Effect is an optical phenomenon that belongs to the family of ice halos in the form of a ring around the sun or moon. It forms as sunlight or moonlight is refracted in millions of hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.
Q.2. Is it safe to watch the halo in the Kaleidoscope Effect with bare eyes?
It is always advisable to take preventive measures such as wearing spectacles while observing any such phenomenon as it can be very harmful to your eyes.
Q.3. Is the Kaleidoscope Effect a common atmospheric phenomenon?
Yes, it is a common atmospheric phenomenon. Recently it has been seen in Bengaluru quite a few times.
Q.4. Why is the Kaleidoscope Effect also known as the 22-degree halo?
The Kaleidoscope Effect is also known as the 22-degree halo because the circular ring has a radius of approximately 22 degrees around the sun or moon, giving it the name 22-degree halo.
Q.5. What type of weather helps is needed for the Kaleidoscope Effect?
The Kaleidoscope Effect is generally observed when there is a chance of rainfall as the ice crystals are formed when the clouds are very high or when there is moisture in the air, which has not yet developed into raindrops.