Photo of the week: ‘Halo’

Telling a story of research through photography

The ‘photo of the week’ is a weekly series featuring photographs taken by BU academics and students for our Research Photography Competition which took place earlier this year.

These provide a snapshot into some of the incredible research taking place across the BU community. 

This week’s photo of the week is the last in the series, taken by Mikhail Kapychka; The Royal Society 2019 Astronomy category winner


‘This image of the lunar halo inspired me to explore this natural phenomenon. I accidentally saw a halo around the moon and took this photo in the night winter forest. A halo is an optical phenomenon, a glowing ring around a light source. There are many types of halos and they are caused mainly by ice crystals in Cirrus clouds at an altitude of 5-10 km in the upper troposphere. The type of halo depends on the shape and location of the crystals. Light reflected and refracted by ice crystals often decomposes into a spectrum, making the halo look like a rainbow. The most vivid and full-colour are pargelia and anti-aircraft arc, less bright-tangent small and large halo.’

‘Now I am engaged in research and a variety of this natural phenomenon, I have a large collection of photos of different types of halo around the world, and thanks to this, people learn about this fascinating phenomenon.’

If you have any questions about the Photo of the Week series or the Research Photography Competition please email