Thursday, October 23, 2008

Skywatch Friday No. 15

Hi Skywatchers!
Tom - our Headhoncho is sitting this one out - he is taking a well deserved break. Now the rest of the team - without adult supervision will go totally crazy today and we will do irresponsible stuff, like - let's say - have Dewdrop post another of her wonderful Sky Lessons - and then we will just go out and wildly visit your sites! That'll teach Tom a lesson or two, to let us be with out supervision! ;)

Lesson prepared and photograph taken by
(aka Jennifer Bilak)

Time for another post for the Skywatch 101 Series... Here's lesson four. I have chosen my favorite sun dog shot.

Sun dogs

A 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. Sundogs typically, but not exclusively, appear when the sun is low, e.g. at sunrise and sunset, and the atmosphere is filled with ice crystal forming cirrus clouds, but diamond dust and ice fog can also produce them. Sometimes they exhibit a spectrum of colours, ranging from red closest to the sun to a pale bluish tail stretching away from the sun.[1] White sundogs are caused by light reflected off of atmospheric ice crystals, while colored sundogs are caused by light refracted through them.


This shot was taken close to sunset a few days after Thanksgiving back in 2006.

Thank you!
The Sky Watch Team
Tom, Sandy, IMAC , Klaus, Ivar, Wren & Fishing Guy