Hyderabad: For the second time in a week, citizens of Hyderabad woke up to a rare phenomenon of a big halo ring around the Sun on Sunday. The halo complimented Hyderabad's pleasant weather following the rainfall in the past few days.

From morning walkers to homemakers, everyone was trying to catch a glimpse of the unique spectacle in the sky. Some people could be seen trying to film it on their mobile phones and some trying to take selfies with the halo in the backdrop. A similar phenomenon was noticed in the city on 2 June.

The optical and atmospheric phenomenon is known as '22 degree circular halo'. According to experts, the halos are caused by both refraction or splitting of light and reflection or glints of light from these ice crystals which are in a hexagonal shape. "Around monsoon or spring season, not an actual rainbow but a coloured ring forms accidentally or coincidentally. They are made of the same size particles. One can see a dispersion of light reflecting seven colors in the sky around the Sun," said B.G Sidharth, the director of BM Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad.

Like rainbows, halos around the Sun – or moon – may be witnessed by some and not by others. Experts said a person in Delhi may see a rainbow or halo at 4 p.m but a person in Hyderabad may not because atmospheric conditions in a location are crucial to see the halo/rainbow.

Raghunandan Rao, the founder of the Planetary Society of India, said a similar halo was witnessed around the same time last year. "In scientific circles, they are known as '22-degree halos'. Because for an observer, the ring has a radius of approximately 22 degrees around the Sun or moon. The phenomenon was noticed last year also," he said.

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