Elongated Sundog

April 08, 2004

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Provided by: Glen Bohusch
Summary authors & editors: Glen Bohusch; Jim Foster

The above photo showing an especially elongated sundog was taken in the early evening while driving west on Interstate 90, just south of Erie, Pennsylvania, in early February, 2004. This unusually elongated sundog looked something like the streak of a fireball -- it held this shape for over 15 minutes before finally fading. Notice the coloration above the sundog. This illustrates that some of the ice crystals in the cirrus clouds were more or less randomly oriented. The sharp edged cloud half way up the photo is likely a contrail. Sundogs are the brightest and most common form of halo that originates in oriented crystals.

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