Sundog Picture

A pic of a "sundog", or parhelion(plural: parhelia)taken in late afternoon, December 29. These bright mini rainbows occur when the sunlight refract off large, flat, horizontally-alligned ice crystals high in the upper atmosphere, the sort that make up alto-cirrus clouds, at an angle of 22 degrees. They normally occur in pairs, one on either side of the sun, but there were only enough clouds on one side so only this one was visable. Sundogs get their name from Norse mythology; two fierce dogs or wolves belonging to Odin were believed to guard the sun, the doorway to Valhalla.

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