Words and photos by Dan O’Connor
I’ve seen moon rings a few times while living in the BVI. Each time, I’ve been relaxing on the familiar beachfront of Cane Garden Bay. It’s a magnificent sight to witness, and I’ve heard varying stories about the cause of the rings that seem to be 10 to 20 times the diameter of the moon. Some of my friends have suggested that the hooping light is caused by water in the air, while others are convinced that the phenomenon is caused by refracting light from the bright near-full moon. After doing my research, I’ve found that most of these explanations had some truths. Wikepedia, the go-to source for any lazy researcher like myself, explains that the ring, also known as the winter halo, happens in conjunction with a full moon and is caused by the refraction of light of the bright moon in the ice particles floating in the upper atmosphere. Many I’ve talked to also belive in the popular folklore that suggests that moon rings warn of approaching storms. Thankfully, though, we have been spared by hurricane Sandy, but it does look like we are heading toward a wet weekend–and perhaps some soggy full moon parties on Monday?
Click here for our full moon schedule.