Blue Tailed Sun Dog

November 12, 2004


Provided and copyright by: Laurent Laveder, Optics of the Atmosphere Gallery
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Laurent Laveder

This photo showing a dazzling sun dog (parhelion) was taken on August 10, 2004 from Quimper, Bretagne, France. The bluish tail of this "dog" points away from the solar disk -- tails are frequently observed with parahelia. Note that the red color is nearest to the Sun (at right, but not visible). The hint of color just below the sun dog is a fragment of a 22 degree halo, indicating that at least some of the ice crystals in the cirrus clouds responsible for this optical phenomenon have a random or non-preferred orientation.

Photo details: Olympus Camedia 5060, 80 ASA, 1/750 s, 110 mm focal lens.

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