Story By: Lisa-Maria Goertz, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Central European News
Awed social media users shared photos of a huge halo of light circling the sun shortly after the 7.5 magnitude earthquake which hit Mexico.
The earthquake was registered in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca on Tuesday 23rd June, during which so far 5 deaths have been confirmed.
Residents say they felt the tremors up to 400 miles away in the capital Mexico City .
Shortly afterwards the ring of light around the sun was spotted by residents of the capital and nearby cities and netizens began to share images on social media.
A scientist and investigator from the astrology department of the UNAM Atmospheric Science Centre, Daniel Flores Gutierrez, spoke about the occurrence explaining that the solar halo is not directly caused by storms or earthquakes, but rather has to do with “the amount of radiation and energy and with the presence of particles of ice in the troposphere.”
According to the scientist, the weather phenomena occurs when low temperatures in the high layers of the atmosphere with humidity from the ocean.
Gutierrez said: “When this happens, faint layers of ice form in the shape of hexagons and when the sunlight passes through the prisms, the light decomposes into the colours, as happens in a rainbow.”
Gutierrez went on to say that this curious happening usually occurs in winter when the humidity combines with currents from polar waves and can also happen with the full moon.
Some social media users have heralded the solar halo a sign of an oncoming apocalypse while others say it is the work of aliens.
One user wrote: “This is not the first time that Mexicans see the approaching tragedy signalled in the sky.”
Another posted: “One day less before the end of the world.”
Whilst another netizen commented: “The aliens are here.”