Praxis effect: When an object of planetary size explodes, it emits a circular 'halo' of debris or glowing energy along an equatorial line. It has little or no basis in science -- "Praxis" was the name of a Klingon moon, which exploded and gave off one such shockwave. Science fiction special effects people thought, "dude, that looked so cool," so it has been used for nearly every huge explosion in outer space since. It appears to be inspired by supernova shock rings, which are actually spherical, but the energy becomes less visible if the viewing angle is less than 90°, much like a sun dog or light in fog.
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