Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seeing Tiny Rainbows Near the Sun Makes You a Sundog Millionaire

small rainbow near the sun
Single frame, increased saturation, ISO 100, 1/2500 sec, f/5.6, 18mm
 
small rainbow near the sun
Single frame, increased saturation, ISO 100, 1/2500 sec, f/5.6, 44mm

What is that small rainbow near the sun? And that faint rainbow above it in the clouds?

A sun dog, phantom sun, mock sun, or parhelion, is a light appearing in the sky at the same elevation as the sun and 22° away from the sun. The distance from the sun is always the same because hexagonal ice crystals in the atmosphere refract the light at a consistent angle.

Sundogs are members of a larger family of halos created in this way, and can appear as pillars, small rainbows, or arcs that form a halo around the sun.

This was just a little guy - check out my parhelia pillars and lunar halo photos!

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