Ring Around The Moon

This morning’s 5 a.m. walk featured a cool phenomenon: a ring around the moon. A china white half moon was high in the sky, and the ghostly, translucent, but clearly visible ring was a considerable distance out from the moon itself. The effect was liked a giant, lidded eye in the sky.

An example of a moon ring

According to this website, moon rings are caused by refraction of moonlight from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. They are associated with high altitude, cirrus clouds, which may explain why the stars looked somewhat indistinct this morning.

Folklore holds that a moon ring means that storms will be coming, and that the number of stars within the moon ring equal the number of days until the storm will arrive. I didn’t count the stars within the ring, however, so I won’t be able to put that folklore to the test.

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63 thoughts on “Ring Around The Moon

  1. omg !!! i saw this early this morning around 1 am in north carolina and it was so big and unique. i never saw something like this before so i had no clue what is was and didn’t know how to explain to people what i say. some of my neighbors came outside to view it as well and we where all just in aww of how this huge ring around the moon looked

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  2. today is the first time i ever witnessed such thing i mean its really amazing. i asked my parents if they knew anything about it and they told me that, rings around the moon means that sickness is coming and they said it had happened before a while back. i thought it had something to do with the moons gravity since the moon itself is water and clouds and partly water. just thought the moon was to close but was doubting my self aswell.

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  3. I saw it last night in Fort Mill, SC for the first time in my life at 1:13 am and tried to take a picture but it didnt work. I HAD to come and look it up to see what that meant. It was so amazing! I looked at another website that says about the same thing, although it gets a little more scientific. But this is the most amazing thing i’ve seen since the birth of a child. (Life isn’t that interesting! *smirk*)

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  4. We have a ring around the moon tonight, Jan. 7, 2012. Only one star inside the ring visible in Indiana. We’ll see if we have storms soon or not.

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  5. I’m seeing this same phenomenon for the first time now in Austin, TX. The full moon is beautiful and the ring is a bonus. (1-7-12; around 9:15pm)

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  6. DramaMama

    I’m in Ocala, FL. I took my pup out at midnight and saw the same thing, but for me it was for the first time. I woke up a neighbor and she was also in awe. It was so beautiful yet puzzling to see. I called channel 9 and they said they had no idea what was causing it but would talk to their weather guy about it. Maybe I should send this page to them!

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  7. Just saw this for the first time in Raynham MA around 8:15pm on 2/2/12. Most amazing phenomenon! My 8 y/o was in complete awe and immediately looked it up online. Funny that someone in CO saw it yesterday and I hear today they are having snowstorms that are closing/delaying airports! Very cool!

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  8. Yep- got to watch for 2 hours in Valley Center, CA. It lasted for about 2 hours and then gone…. It was amazing. I’ve viewed rings around the moon before, but not at this level…

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  9. I just saw one earlier here in the Philippines πŸ™‚ Its really majestic. Wicked but really stunning πŸ˜€

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  10. i just saw it today in greenville sc and i think that it is just an amazing thing to see so if there is any body that has not seen it it wood be a great thing to see. πŸ™‚

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  11. 10/27/2012 11:30 p.m
    the ring around the moon was amazing again, i had seen it in Aug and Sept of this year, this time i got too count the stars between the moon and the ring. (4)
    as for the weather forecast, (hurricane Sandy is moving in our direction.

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  12. 23/12/2021. 20.30hrs
    just whitnessed this myself its unnervered me at first but looked it up, all smiles now . beautiful to see. staffordshire moorlands.

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  13. Last Saturday, and Christmas Eve 2012 in central Mississippi. It’s kind of awe inspiring. Two bright stars inside the ring… but storm is supposed to be tomorrow.

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  14. Tonight this could be seen in Minneapolis. One star/planet one moon’s diameter above the moon and one star/planet at 9 o’clock just outside the halo. Loved it. Bitterly cold and still.

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  15. Was out walking around 9 P.M., 04/21/13, in Columbus, Ohio, and saw this same awesome sight, only the moon is not full…it’s about 3/4 full. As of 10:58 P.M., it is still visible! Heavenly!

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  16. 12:32am tonight as i walked my parents out of my apt after they had visit my wife and I, I looked up in the sky and saw an enormous ring around the moon which i had never experienced. My wife and I were stunned and just surpised to see something like that. The moon was very bright never seened it as bright…..wonder what it really means

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  17. Its December 3, 2014, and its 8:35 pm and there’s a full moon with a ring. I’m just curies what it is called? Because its a beautiful moon. and I would like to now more about it. Dose anyone know what it is called!!!

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