Bright Parhelion over Syracuse, Italy

January 19, 2021


Photographer: Barbara Pindo 
Summary Authors: Barbara Pindo; Jim Foster

One afternoon this past fall, I decided to photograph the sky near my home in Syracuse, Italy. My friends Massimo Tamajo and Salvo Basile pointed out a bright parhelion, shown above, near the western horizon. These colorful patches of light form when sunlight interacts with hexagonal, plate-shaped ice crystals -– sunlight enters one of the crystal’s side faces, exiting through an alternate side face. Look for them approximately 22-degrees from the Sun, at the same solar altitude. If you’re lucky, you may see one or either side of the Sun (parhelia). This one happened to be to the Sun's right. Note that unlike rainbows, parhelia or sundogs are red-colored toward the Sun, as is the case for all 22-degree halo-related phenomena. Photo taken on November 21, 2020.

Photo Details: Camera: Samsung SM-G965F; Exposure Time: 0.0003s (1/3344); Aperture: ƒ/2.4; ISO equivalent: 50; Focal Length (35mm): 26