I had the rare fortune to witness Sun dogs on two different occasions and two different days. Where they get their name I don't know. Seems an odd name for such a rare and often beautiful phenomenon. (Scroll down to see the photos)
When the atmosphere is just right, the sun will reflect from the clouds, creating mini suns, or rainbows on the clouds. These are called *Mock Suns* or Parhelia. They are created by the sun reflecting off ice crystals. One I saw was to the left of the morning sun, at the same level as the sun. The other I saw was to the right of the setting sun at the same level as the sun, it was more yellow and gold tones, whereas the morning Sun Dog was familiar rainbow colors.
Sun Dogs do not last long, so they are not often seen, but they can be seen any time of year anywhere in the world at anytime of the day and are typically in pairs, one on each side of the sun. The ones I saw were single and on one side or the other of the sun, but always in line with the sun. Perhaps there was a second one, but it was not visible to me nor to the camera lens.
I was fortunate to get a photo of one of the Sun Dogs. I tried to catch a photo of the other one, but by the time I got my camera and ready to capture the photo, it had faded, so the rainbow colors were no longer visible to the eye or to the camera lens.
The sky fascinates me with the many types of cloud formations, and though I'm often observing the sky it was the first I had ever seen the phenomenon of Sun Dogs, but I feel fortunate to have experienced the rare opportunity.
To read more about Sun Dogs, refer to http://www.livescience.com/26402-sundogs.html
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