Sun, Dog, Sundog

May 24, 2023



Photographer: Phil Plait         

Summary Author: Phil Plait   

While out playing with my dog Daisy near sunset I saw an incomplete 22° halo around the Sun, brightest to the north. Ice crystals suspended in the air refract sunlight, and if they’re 22° away from the Sun in any direction the light is sent toward the observer, creating a halo. Blue light is bent more than red, so this creates a rainbow-like effect.  If the crystals are hexagonal and flat, they can create bright spots in the arc parallel to the horizon. These are called parhelia, or sundogs. As it happens, Daisy was sitting in just the right spot to make this sunny, punny scene. Photo taken on August 19, 2022.


North of Lyons Colorado -- Coordinates: 40.3, -105.3

Related Links:

Phil’s Website

Surreal Sundog on the Great Salt Lake