Spectacular sun halo captured over Wirral, UK

These stunning photos show a spectacular sun halo forming in the skies over Wirral.

Haloes - rings that form around the sun or moon - are created by light being reflected by ice crystals formed in high cirrus clouds.

While they can be an indicator of rain, as the ice crystals often indicate an approaching frontal system, it is thought this halo was formed as a result of unusually cold overnight temperatures.

The photos were taken in Bromborough by Kirsty Bakstad outside her home this morning.

She told the ECHO: "It was about 11am, we were just pulling up outside our home in Bromborough when my husband Will, who had his sunglasses on, spotted it.

"He told me to look through the sunglasses, and there was this huge ring around the sun.

"I took a few pictures with my phone through the sunglasses, then a few directly.

"I had to Google it to find out what it was.

"I love taking weather pictures, usually red sunsets or funny-shaped clouds, but I've never seen anything like this before."

A Met Office spokesman said: "It was very cold overnight on Merseyside, around 1.8 degrees, so it's likely that ice crystals could have formed in high cirrus clouds. It doesn't necessarily mean it's going to rain, though rain is forecast anyway for the area later on on Saturday.

"Haloes can be quite common, you see them around the moon quite a lot in this country in the north because of the colder temperatures overnight, but in the winter you can see them in the daytime more often."

According to the Met Office website, haloes can vary is size depending on the structure of the ice crystals reflecting the light.

They can be either white, or faintly coloured, depending on the angle the light rays strike the crystals.

The majority of ice crystals are hexagonal, or six-sided, and the most common angle light is refracted through them is about 22 degrees.

Small haloes produced at 9 degrees and larger ones at 46 degrees are relatively common, and in some cases only part of a halo forms.