Sundogs

 
 

This photos was taken by Susan Byrnes while kayaking near the South Bass Island Lighthouse recently. Her husband Mike noticed a partial rainbow in the sky. After Susan snapped the photo, she looked up this phenomenon and discovered it is called a sun dog.

Information from Wikipedia tells us that a sun dog (or sundog) or mock sun, formally called a parhelion, is an atmospheric optical phenomenon that consists of a bright spot to one or both sides of the sun.. Two sun dogs often flank the Sun within a 22 degree halo.

The sun dog is  caused by the refraction of sunlight by ice crystals in the atmosphere. Sun dogs typically appear as a pair of subtly colored patches of light, around 22 degree, to the left and right of the Sun, and at the same altitude above the horizon as the Sun. They can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but are not always obvious or bright. Sun dogs are best seen and most conspicuous when the Sun is near the horizon.

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