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I was looking at a very bright moon tonight through light cloud cover and saw a halo of light far bigger than the moon imposed on the clouds. Almost in a conic shape by comparison. I was wondering if early astronomers could use this difference to calculate the distance of the moon given the height of the cloud and the dimensions of earth.

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closed as off-topic by James K, Rory Alsop, Chappo, Mick, Magic Octopus Urn Oct 22 '18 at 12:37

  • This question does not appear to be about astronomy, within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ @pm2ring the 22 degrees wouldnt aid a calculation of distance? $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Oct 21 '18 at 4:43
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because if it concerns the 22 degree halo, it is a meteology question. If it is not about this halo, it is unclear $\endgroup$ – James K Oct 21 '18 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ @PM2Ring that's a valid answer to this question, more than just a comment. $\endgroup$ – Glorfindel Oct 22 '18 at 9:13
  • $\begingroup$ Could be, because the question is based a misconception, but it's a question about (historical) astronomy, with a non-astronomic answer. $\endgroup$ – Glorfindel Oct 22 '18 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesK at the time I didn't know it was meteorological in nature. I've cast the final VTC vote, and accepted the answer posted. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Oct 22 '18 at 12:41
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No, because the size of the halo is determined by the properties of ice crystals, the distance to the Moon is irrelevant. So you get a 22° halo with both the Sun & the Moon, even though the Sun's much further away.

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  • $\begingroup$ I shall, also I'll VTC my own question. Didn't mean it as meteorological, mostly because I didn't know it was meteorological. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Oct 22 '18 at 12:36

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