Stonington Sundogs

March 02, 2008


Photographer: Steve Kluge, Fox Lane High School 
Summary Author: Steve Kluge

This early November sunset was accented by a magnificent pair of evening sundogs (or parhelia). It was taken from a small point of land in Stonington, Connecticut (southeastern Connecticut), overlooking Long Island Sound. Look for them at the far right center and far left center of the photo. Sundogs appear about 22 degrees on either side of the Sun as light passes through and is refracted toward the observer by hexagonal ice crystals, most often found in cirrus clouds. Sundogs vary in appearance and intensity, from small bright spots in the sky, to dramatic vertical "rainbows." They're actually the brightest part of the 22 degree halo -- imagine the rest of the halo as you look at this image. The glare-reducing lower level clouds in front of the Sun made this pair particularly easy to observe.