Sundog Over Seabrook Harbor

August 07, 2010


Photographer: David Modricker
Summary Author: David Modricker; Jim Foster

Sometimes an unobtrusive swath of color can "bring out" a picture as in the case above where this handsome parhelion formed above a misty seascape at Seabrook Harbor, New Hampshire. On this late June afternoon, similarly oriented ice crystals in cirrus clouds, above the cumulus cloud deck stretching across the center of the photo, refracted sunlight in such a way to produce a patch of light approximately 22 degrees from the Sun (off the picture to the right). Parhelia, or sundogs, take shape when sunlight enters through one of the crystal’s pencil shaped side faces and exits through the alternate side face. They're red on their sun-ward side and more bluish away from the Sun. On this occasion, only one sundog was observed. Photo taken a little before sunset on June 29, 2010.