Broken Halo Seen in Calgary

High clouds made up of ice crystals create halos around the sun and moon all the time, but this particular halo is very interesting. It's "broken" due to different types of ice crystals.

Light from the moon or sun is refracted through these crystals, which is what creates the halo effect we see from the ground. Different shapes of ice crystals can create different effects.

Alan Clark of Calgary took this photo on the left below, and then used a program called "HaloSim" that simulated what he saw. Here's what he had to say -

"In the simulation, one cloud consisted of 30% of horizontal hexagonal columnar crystals and 70% hexagonal flat-plate crystals with a wide dispersion of angles of their faces to the horizontal. The other cloud contained hexagonal columnar crystals with their axes distributed randomly."