Crow’s Nest: Sundog

January 23, 2019

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Yesterday I saw a phenomenon I consider even more rare than a rainbow: a sundog, or prism of color refracted in ice crystals in the atmosphere. It is also called a parhelion, or in the usual pairs, parhelia (the other side, if present, was obscured by trees). It has been bitter cold over the last two days and I was not surprised to see it, though of course the conditions in cirrus clouds are always cold!