Yesterday evening (16 August 2016) saw a spectacular atmospheric phenomenon known as a sundog. In fact two sundogs briefly appeared, to the left and the right of the solar orb, in a lovely show of heavenly colours over the River Alt’s estuary.
A sun dog or sundog (also called a parhelion, plural parhelia, for ‘beside the sun’ or ‘mock sun’) is a particular type of ice halo. These coloured patches of light to the side of the sun may be seen anywhere in the world during any season.
In Europe or USA they might be seen once or twice per week but they are not always perceptibly bright. They are not rainbows but produced from ice crystals. Their forms may vary in appearance as well. Other types of halos may occur such us: supralateral arcs, sun pillars, infralateral arc, sunvex parry arc, etc.
Cirrus clouds frequently herald the sighting of sundogs.
The term sundog has been in use since the early 1600s. Even the ancient Greeks and Romans mentioned sundogs.
Moreover, this video is helpful in understanding that nothing is new under the sun…
Pat Regan ©
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