"A sundog is a concentrated patch of sunlight occasionally seen about 22 (degrees) to the left or right of the sun. Sundogs often form in pairs on either side of our daytime star when sunlight refracts through icy clouds containing hexagonal platecrystals aligned with their large, flat faces parallel to the ground. Technically known as parhelia (singular parhelion) they are often white but sometimes quite colorful, looking like detached pieces of (a) rainbow, with red on the inside, toward the sun, and blue on the outside," said a post at skyandtelescope.org.
It was nice to see the sun on Tuesday and even nicer to view a phenomenon called a sundog or sun dog.
A post at foxweather.com repeated the same information. "These 'side suns' are colloquially known as sun dogs, officially known as 'parhelia,' which is Greek for 'next to the sun.' And just like other rainbow-type displays in the sky, sun dogs result from light refracting off precipitation ...," the post continued.
However, an excerpt on Wikipedia said, "A somewhat common misconception among the general public is to refer to any member of the ice halo family as a 'sun dog' (especially the 22-degree halo, being one of the most common varieties). However, sun dogs represent just one of many different types of halos. For referring to the atmospheric phenomenon in general, the term (ice crystal) halo(s) is more appropriate."
Taking in the natural beauty of the sky in all its different forms is like a delicious treat for the mind and the eyes. That's just the nature of things 'round here.
"The Nature of Things" features the writings and photographs of Anna Applegate, who is a lifelong resident of Pinegrove Township, Venango County. She is a graduate of Cranberry High School and Clarion University. After a 15-year career in the local news industry, she made a change and now works at a steel finishing plant in Sandycreek Township. She is a avid lover of animals and nature, and a gifted photographer.