Ipswich stargazers capture stunning 'halo' around moon - did you see it?

The 22° halo, also known as the moon ring or winter halo, was spotted by keen stargazers in Ipswich last night.

The 22° halo, also known as the moon ring or winter halo, was spotted by keen stargazers in Ipswich last night. - Credit: Amanda Gooch

Keen stargazers captured an incredible sight in Ipswich last night, when a big white ring surrounded the moon like a glowing halo.

The visual phenomenon, named a 22° halo, moon ring or winter halo, was spotted in the night skies by people in Kesgrave and Ipswich last night.

The lunar halo is created by tiny ice crystals suspended in a thin curtain which is suspended in the atmosphere. 

halo moon Ipswich

People captured the 22° halo last night, which is also known as a moon ring or winter halo. - Credit: Chris Cracknell

Astronomer Neil Norman, from Hadleigh, said the name of the 22° halo relates to the distance between the circle and the moon in the sky.

He said it forms as direct sunlight or moonlight is refracted in millions of hexagonal ice crystals that are suspended in the atmosphere.

"This phenomenon is quite common," said Mr Norman. 

"In fact, you can expect to see them over 100 nights per year and they are far more common than rainbows." 

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Superstition has it that they are a sign of an approaching storm, but Mr Norman said this not necessarily the case. 

The phenomenon can be captured with just the camera on your phone; like in these photos by Chris Cracknell and Amanda Gooch. 

The 22° halo, also known as the moon ring or winter halo, was spotted by keen stargazers in Ipswich last night.

The 22° halo, also known as the moon ring or winter halo, was spotted by keen stargazers in Ipswich last night. - Credit: Amanda Gooch

Chris took more than 10 photos of the 'halo' from his Kesgrave garden, at exactly midnight.

He said: "I just thought it looked magical and so unusual."

Amanda captured the phenomenon near Ipswich Hospital at 12.44am this morning. 

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