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Moon Ring Causes Curiosity and Excitement
12/28/2009

courtesy photo A local view of the ring around the moon in Liberal on Monday night.

Residents who were out after dark on Monday night got a chance to see something that you don't see every night. A big ring around the moon.

A ring around the moon occurs because of the refraction of reflected sunlight from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere.

According to Ann Holladay from USA Today's Wonder Quest there has to be two necessary ingredients to produce a halo about the moon. They include moonlight and a thin veil of hexagonal ice crystals between your eye and the moon. These two agents cause a halo, much as sunlight and rain falling between your eye and the sun produce a rainbow Holladay says.

The ring around the moon caused quite a stir of excitement in the social networking facebook community. One local resident wrote, "There is an awesome Halo around the moon right now!!! GO OUTSIDE!!! Means bad weather is a' comin."

Another local resident wrote "the moon is purdy nifty lookin!!" A third wrote "The moon looks crazy!!"

Folklore has it that a ring around the moon signifies bad weather is coming. The ice crystals that cover the halo shows high altitude, thin cirrus clouds that normally come before a warm front by a day or two. Quite often a warm front will be associated with a low pressure system which is commonly referred to as a storm.

The current weather forecast for Liberal has the high being in the 40's with the lows being in the 20's consistently for the next 10 days.

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