Cool, City Dog
August 14, 2004
This photo of a colorful parhelion helps summon cool thoughts during the dog days of summer. It was captured on a cold, clear winter's day (January 23, 2004) in downtown Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Parihelia are more widely known as sundogs since they faithfully follow the Sun through the sizzling heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. An office building blocks the Sun here, which is at the same elevation as this sundog -- approximately 15 degrees above the western horizon. A sundog is produced when sunlight passes through a thin layer of plate-shaped crystals that are oriented horizontally. These crystals need not be in a visible cloud layer but are most often associated with cirrus clouds. A Nikon Coolpix 995 digital camera was used to take this picture.