Did You See The Sundogs This Morning?
Yes, there were two sundogs this morning. What is a sundog? Bright, colored areas of light beside the sun are known as sun dogs (sometimes written as one word: sundogs). They're often approximately 22 degrees to the left or the right (or both!) and about the same distance above the horizon as the sun.
Sun dogs form when there are ice crystals in high, cold cirrus clouds. They can also form when ice crystals float in the air during extremely cold weather.
Ice crystals in the air act like prisms, bending the sun's rays and refracting them in such a way that sundogs appear. Because of the way that the sun's light gets bent, sun dogs will often appear red on the side closest to the sun with a blue or white tail stretching horizontally away from the sun.
Scientists don't know how the term "sun dog" originated. Historians do know that the term has been around in art and literature for well over a century.
The sun dog phenomenon can also occur at night when the moon is nearly full and particularly bright. These moon dogs aren't seen nearly as often as sun dogs, because the conditions necessary for their formation don't happen very frequently.
If you missed it this morning around 8:30 a.m. I caught both on each side of the sun.