A giant halo appeared around the Sun above Mexico City on Thursday, bringing tens of thousands of people out in the streets and sparking talk about an ‘alien invasion’ and the ‘end of the world’.
Social media sites across the Spanish-speaking world warned that “the end of the world was nigh”, while hundreds of others were convinced an alien device was making its way to the Earth’s surface to gain control.
Fortunately, the phenomenon was nothing unusual, and happens regularly. The halo, which is also known as a nimbus, icebow or gloriole, is produced when light interacts with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere, resulting in several types of coloured or white rings, spots or arcs in the sky.
The halo around the Sun was enormous.
Many halos appear near or around the Moon or Sun, while others can be seen elsewhere, even in the opposite part of the sky.
According to experts, the halo that appeared over Mexico City on Thursday was spectacular. In fact, it was seen in two other cities too – Toluca and Pachuca.
Local newspaper Milenio quoted Mexican comedian Rafael Inclán who said (translated):
“After so many things we have to put up with in Mexico City, this (halo) is nothing. If we can go about our daily lives despite mass demonstrations in the streets and bad politicians, this can only be a blessing.”
Horacero, another Mexican newspaper, quoted a young man who said to his friends as they stood together looking up at the sky “That is a sign that the world is about to end.” (“Esa es una señal de que se va a acabar el mundo”)
Video – Halo around Sun amazes Mexico City residents