If this isn't a rainbow, what is it?

Published On: Feb 04 2013 09:48:23 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 04 2013 03:40:06 PM CST

Photos like these are often mistaken as rainbows. This is a halo

Halos aren’t that rare, but they occur more often in the northern United States and in colder climates.

Thin wispy cirrus float 3 to 6 miles in the sky and are made of tiny ice crystals.  In certain conditions the crystals behave like jewels.   The crystals refract and reflect sunlight in all directions creating the colors of a rainbow. 

The difference is there is no rain with halos.