Sun Dogs or Phantom Sun Photos


Sun Dogs

Sun Dogs

I took this picture of some Sun Dogs a couple of months ago.  Sun Dogs or Phantom Suns are bright spots in the sky often seen beside the sun, usually when the sun is low in the sky.  As you can see in the photo, the sun was close to setting.  The scientific name for Sun Dogs is parahelia.

Sun Dogs can be bright white spots of light or they can be colored – resembling small rainbows with the red end of the spectrum closest to the sun.  This atmospheric phenomenon is caused by sunlight reflecting off of plate shaped hexagonal ice crystals.  These crystals are usually found high in the sky in cirrus clouds.  The crystals act like little prisms and reflect the sun’s rays with a deflection of 22 degrees.

Sun Dogs can be seen anywhere in the world during any season.  So keep your eyes on the sky and send us a picture if you capture some of these illusive icy dogs. 

I took this picture using my Canon PowerShot A550.

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