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What Does a Ring Around the Sun Mean?

A diffraction disc or Airy disc has similar appearance, but is a disk, rather than a ring, and has a red border on the inside. Its size depends on the size of the ice or water particles that cause it. These are also known as coronas, but are not to be confused with the thin streaming luminous gas that makes up the sun’s own corona.

NOAA Photo Library

In folklore, a ring (often called a halo) seen around the sun or the moon means precipitation (usually rain) is coming.


The ring is caused by sunlight or moonlight being diffracted as it passes through cirrostratus clouds that are usually at altitudes above 20,000 feet. Cirrostratus clouds are composed mostly of small ice crystals that spread out into a thin layer. They are sheet-like, and the sun and moon can be seen through them easily.


Halos are most commonly seen as a white ring around the sun or moon, but sometimes they can appear as a rainbow-colored ring with red on the inside and going to blue-white on the outside. This is seen more often around the sun than around the moon.


Halos most commonly form at a 22-degree radius. A more rare halo is the great halo, which forms at a 46-degree radius.

Good for Predicting Weather?

A ring around the sun or moon in the warmer months is a good, but not guaranteed, indication there might be precipitation within 12 to 24 hours. Cirrostratus clouds usually come before a warm front, which often brings precipitation.”

This article was originally printed by eHow Blog.


National Health Insurance – “Wishful thinking”

“It is estimated that about R11bn is required to start implementation of the NHI by 2012. Government has indicated that it will roll out the NHI over 14 years, starting with rural areas in 2012. The scheme will be publicly funded and administered, providing high quality healthcare free of charge. Speculation, however, is rife that government is planning to increase tax in 2012 to support the NHI.

SA’s official population is 49.9m, of which 8m contribute to a medical aid scheme. The NHI will cost the government an initial R128bn in 2012, R267bn in 2020, and R367bn in 2025. The GDP spend by 2025 is estimated to be 7.8%.

Commentators indicate that South Africa cannot afford the NHI with the current taxpayers. It is “wishful thinking” and we need to think carefully about it. It is not possible with 5m taxpayers. If we increase tax on professionals they will leave the country. The country has about 5.5m registered individual taxpayers, of which about 4.8m actually earn enough to pay taxes. Of the 4.8m, about 25% earn 60% of the taxable income but pay 75% of all individual taxes.

With South Africa’s tax already around 30% of GDP, the cost of the NHI may increase the already heavy burden carried by taxpayers and will have a negative impact on the morale of taxpayers.”

Written by Stiaan Klue
This article was originally printed by The South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT)
PO Box 73, Featherbrooke, 1746
Tel: 011 662 2837

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