Ice Halos
© Jari Luomanen and Marko Riikonen Ice Halos

Night falls. You grab your halogen lamp and step outside into the moonlight. A bitter arctic wind tries to push you back; ice crystals sting your eyes. But what you see overhead carries you forward into the night.

"Jari Luomanen and Marko Riikonen braved the intense cold of the Finland night on January 9/10 to research halos and obtain this stunning shot showing halos from the Moon competing with those from a halogen lamp," explains atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley. "Lamps plus crystals from snow-making machines are the latest way to study ice halos. Here the lamp is acting as the equivalent of a low sun to create a whole set of rare arcs such as the Hastings and helic previously seen only in Antactica."

Luomanen has video-recorded the manmade halos shimmering and flashing in the night. Click here for a 6 MB snippet or visit his web site to view full-length 50+ MB reels. It's the next best thing to being there.