Sun Dogs Courtesy of the Polar Vortex

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Sun dog, scientific name parhelion

      The Polar Vortex has given us above average snowfall this January, below zero temperatures, high winds, and now Sundogs.

According to Wikipedia, Sundogs are commonly made by the refraction of light from hexagonal ice crystals in cirrus clouds or during very cold weather. These ice crystals are called Diamond dust and drift in the air at low levels. The crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them. As the crystals sink through the air, they become vertically aligned, so sunlight is refracted horizontally. You will see one on each side of the Sun.

Sundogs are red-colored at the side nearest the sun. Farther out the colors grade through oranges to blue.

Gloria took pictures of these two colorful Sundogs, one on each side of the sun, this morning at around 8:45 am. The temperature was around 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

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