Ice Crystal Halos

Halo display from Upper Bavaria

Halo display from Upper Bavaria

On 27.11.2010 from 09.30 till 13.30 CET Claudia and Wolfgang Hinz could observe the depicted halo phenomena, comprising not less than 22 types of halos, in the German Alps of Upper Bavaria ( 1 ):

– 22deg halo
– left and right parhelia
– upper and lower tangent arc
– upper and lower sun pillar
– circumzenithal arc
– 46deg halo
– parhelic circle
– upper, lower and circular Lowitz arcs
– Anthelion
– 120deg parhelia
– supralateral arc
– infralateral arc
– upper suncave Parry arc
– subsun
– left and right subparhelia
– Wegener anthelic arc
– Hastings anthelic arcs
– upper and lower Tape arcs (46deg Parry)
– heliac arc
– subhelic arcs
– Moilanen arc

The types of halos and their brightness sometimes changed within minutes.

Location and weather situation:

The halo phenomena occured in the Sudelfeld, which is a mountain saddle at an altitude of ca. 1100 m. Low stratus clouds drawing in from the Inn River valley dissolved there and fell out in ice crystals. The Sudelfeld being a popular skiing resort, this morning two snow making machines (“snow guns”) were also working, but shut off near 11 o’clock. Jari Luomanen suggests that the snow gun produced nucleation agents also took part in the nucleation process of the stratus which then continued even after the guns stopped operating.

Claudia Hinz


  • Magnificent, Claudia!!
    Congratulations. I am still reeling over this display!
    Alan Clark

  • Wonderful display! Bavarian Alps are producing good stuff all the time; I remember great displays from you also from the past years. Keep them coming.

  • Wow thats a wicked display claudia. Just think if you had you a hi-power spotlight you could gotten really nice halos at night. Any how congrads on a spectacular display!!!

  • This is good. The lower Tape arc in one of the photos is as clear as it can be. The display and the projection brings to mind the Parry 1820 display.

  • Congratulations! This is one of the best displays! The lower Tape arcs are a sight to behold! And the mountain background, it just adds so much drama and grandeur to these images.

  • Thanks a lot :o)

    This is a very good place for halos. I’ve seen already 5 large diamond dust phenomena from there. Today in the morning I observed a subsun from above in the Inn valley clouds at the saddle:

    Also the last halo meeting happened at the Sudelfeld youth hostel. Unfortunately we had no sun, “only” some lamp halos and Sudelfeld monsters:

    In coming January we will meet again and will hope for more…

  • In the AKM Blog Claudia also posted an excerpt from an old legend of the area, given to her by a friend from Miesbach, which smells a lot like halos. I have tried to translate it like this:

    “Many years ago a beggar man was set on his way from the Inn River valley to the town of Bayrischzell. For this he had to climb over the Sudelfeld, a large area of alpine pastures near Mount Wendelstein. Being exhausted after quite a few hours of walking, he lost his way hopelessly in the upcoming dark and was just about to faint. Luckily, he found a deserted barn where he laid down in the hay and fell asleep. In the middle of the night he woke up in fear because the cabin was brightly lit. Then, in front of it there was a dance of witches colorfully shining in the blinding moonlight, figures with hairy legs and crooked horns on their heads.”

    Speking of sky archeology, this kind of folklore might be an area yet unexplored.

  • Claudia you need to get you a spotlight!! so you can get the good stuff at night like in Finland:)

  • It is hard to choose a favorite image from among them—there are so many great competitors. And you have not only wonderful halos but a terrific setting as well.

  • Yes very nice setting a mountain range look excellent!! Another good setting when doing moon halos is the stars and milkyway as background


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