What Was That Ring Around the Moon Last Night?

The phenomenon was Grant Johnston's word of the day: lunar halo. NBC 5 viewers noticed and sent us images of the ring surrounding the last full moon of the decade.

Chris Baker

What was the ring around the moon last night in North Texas? Some NBC 5 viewers sent us pictures of the lunar halo seen around the full moon.

Often times, the lunar halo is seen when there are high clouds and ice crystals about 20,000 to 30,000 feet up in the atmosphere. The National Weather Service says the ice acts as a prism, so when light hits it, all the colors that make it up get separated out like in a rainbow. That’s why the halo has pale bands of different colors. The ice also reflects this separated light outwards so we can see it, NWS says.

"Halos have fueled superstition for decades, but there's nothing unnatural about how these ghostly rings form," the National Weather Service says.

The ring surrounded December’s #FullMoon, which was trending on social media Thursday morning. It’s a big deal because it’s the last full moon of the decade. It was called the "Cold Moon."

Email us your moon pictures or weather pictures to

"Last Full 'cold moon' of the decade!" Sent by NBC 5 viewer Casey Boyd.
Dec. 12 full moon, sent by NBC 5 viewer Mike Morgan.
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