Hong Kong sky-gazers were treated to a spectacular sight as the city sizzled on Sunday – a so-called 22-degree halo around the sun.

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Photograph of the sun halo taken by a resident from Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island. Photo: Marckq Scmidt via Facebook.

Although not particularly rare, the bright glowing halo, in vivid blue skies, prompted a flurry of stunning pictures uploaded to Facebook and Twitter. “Amazing” exclaimed one netizen, “beautiful” said another.

shau kei wan
Taken in Shau Kei Wan. Photo: Benny Wong via Facebook

A 22-degree halo is caused by light passing through billions of hexagonal ice crystals in cirrostratus or cirrus clouds between three and five miles above the Earth. The phenomenon can also be observed around the moon, which is sometimes known as a winter halo.

shau kei wan
Taken from Shau Kei Wan. Photo: Benny Wong via Facebook.

According to the website weather.com: “Scientifically, halos are called 22-degree halos because two refractions bend the light by 22 degrees from its original direction. This means that the halo can be seen when your eye makes a 22-degree angle with the sun or moon.”

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Taken by a resident in Wang Long Village on Lamma Island. Photo: Charles Yiu via Facebook.

Hong Kong Observatory said today the outlook for the coming week was for the very hot weather to continue. Temperatures are expected to peak at around 33 degrees Celsius tomorrow and may climb a little higher mid-week.

Hong Wrong lives on at HKFP, offering a mix of news, mildly serious observation & irreverent claptrap chronicling the good, bad and ugly under the Fragrant Harbour’s fading lights.