While you were firing up the barbecue this Memorial Day weekend, the sun above Missoula was producing more than just heat. An immense and ominous looking ring cut a large circle around the sun around 1:30 on Monday afternoon, enough to cause a few concerned updates on Facebook.

"Looks like an alien invasion!" said Chelsea F., Missoula.

 

Granted, the ring was something most have never seen before, but this was a sight that was familiar to me. I recall seeing one of these years ago, and no, aliens didn't follow soon after.

The optical phenomenon is known as a Halo. According to Wiki:

halo is an optical phenomenon produced by light interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere, resulting in a wide variety of colored or white rings, arcs and spots in the sky. Many halos are near the Sun or Moon, but others occur elsewhere or even in the opposite part of the sky.

 

And while this is a very creepy, but equally beautiful moment in the skies above, it's nothing to really be concerned about at all. If you did have a chance to catch the sight, consider yourself lucky to have been there. Halo's like the one we saw here in Missoula are extremely rare.

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