Sun Dogs Are Awesome
by, 01-24-2008 at 07:32 PM (2778 Views)
Sun Dogs really are cool! Their scientific name is parhelion (plural: parhelia). A sun dog is a common bright circular spot on a solar halo, and is an optical phenomenon caused by the reflection (or refraction) of sunlight by small ice crystals that make up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. More often than not, two or even more sun dogs can be seen on opposite sides of the sun at the same time.
Sun dogs appear usually at sunrise or sunset, but there are exceptions to this, of course.
Earth would be the first planet closest to the sun with enough amount of ice crystal-carrying clouds, and the pair of sun dogs would be aligned with our horizon. On other planets and moons where water and ice are less prevalent, however, various crystal structures produce different halos. On the giant gas planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune — other crystals form the clouds of ammonia, methane, and other substances that can produce halos with four or more sun dogs.
If you want more information on sun dogs (parhelion) you can always do a Google search, and a whole lot of information will be at your fingertips.
Why do I post of Sun Dogs today? Well, I saw the phenomena today, and naturally did not have my camera handy.... so I thought it would be a good blog item. Hope you liked it.
p.s. For a decent observation of sun dogs, sun pillars, and the like, try this link, quite enjoyable: SAMPLES of Louis Greene work