Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sun Dogs

This morning on my drive into work I noticed a "sun dog" in the sky.  Also called a mock sun, phantom son, or parhelion, sun dogs form when ice crystals in the atmosphere  refracting sunlight to form a mirror image of the sun.  This mirror image appears at 22 degrees away from the sun and is parallel to the sun's position over the horizon.  The sun dog often has the appearance of a faint rainbow and is often accompanied by a halo around the sun - this halo can be seen  in the photo below.  Sun dogs are most oven seen in the hours around dawn and dusk, but can occur at any point of the day.  Usually sun dogs appear in pairs, one on either side of the sun, but today I was only able to observe one of the pair.  For more information on sun dogs check out this article on Wikipedia.

Sun dog and faint halo (29 APR 2015) - the two circular dots of light (above the sun dog and below the sun) are called lens flare and were caused by my sunlight directly hitting my camera lens

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