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Monday, January 19, 2009

Sun Dogs

I have seen these sun dogs almost every morning for a week or two now because it's been so darn COLD here. It is so amazing to see these, I love it. Sometimes they are just bright yellowish/white light like the sun and sometimes they are rainbows. The other day I was driving to work early and the sun was just peeking over the horizon. The sky was a beautiful pinkish purple and I was thinking about the miracles that God has placed all around us that we tend to be too busy to notice. The sun dogs were rainbows and just beautiful when I drove right through one! Yep, I drove through a rainbow, it was so COOL! The sun dogs looked really low and then all of a sudden the spectrum of colors just washed over my windshield. I was so shocked I hit my breaks, thankfully there was no one behind me. It really was the highlight of my day. Here are a couple of pictures I have taken over the past couple of weeks of what I've seen while driving to work.
For you scientific types out there here is a definition of Sun Dogs I found on Wikipedia:
sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, for "beside the sun") is a common bright circular spot on a solar halo. It is an atmospheric optical phenomenon primarily associated with the reflection or refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. Often, two sun dogs can be seen (one on each side of the sun) simultaneously.
When sunlight passes through the sides of a flat crystal, both the angle of the sun rays and the orientation of the crystals affects the shape and colour of the sun dogs. Misaligned or wobbling crystals produce colourful and elongated sun dogs, while light passing through the crystal in non-optimal deviation angles (up to 50°) produces the "tail" of the sun dog stretching away from the sun. As refraction is dependent on wavelength, the sun dogs tend to have red inner edges while the colours farther from the sun tend to be more bluish-white as colours increasingly overlap

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