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Posted by Joe Antognini on April 11, 2002 04:12:55 UTC

Spelling may be off, but that's OK. Unless I'm confusing the thing that you are talking about with something else, I think this is correct. It's caused by a refraction from falling ice crystals high in the sky. When they fall perpendicular to sun rays, a parahelion is formed. The halo is where the ice crystals are most concentrated, and the light does the most effect. If you look closely (not too closely of course) you can notice that the sky inside the parahelion is slightly darker than the sky on the outside. That is due to the ice crystals. Parahelions do not occur every day because it is only in rare instances where the ice crystals fall in a perpendicular fashion. If anyone else does not believe this to be true, you're probably right. I may be confused. But, if I'm right, I hope I answered your question.

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