Woof Woof!

On Sunday, December 9th an atmospheric phenomena was seen in Grand Forks: the sun dog. It was a beautiful sight to see which made me curious as to what caused it. Well I did some research and found out that a sun dog is formed when by plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals and cold cirrus clouds in high altitudes, or during very cold weather, by ice crystals called diamond dust drifting in the air at low levels. The crystals sink through the air and become vertically aligned, so sunlight is refracted horizontally and then sun dogs are seen. The sun dogs can move further from the sun as the sun gets higher, but they are always stay at the same elevation as the sun itself. Colors of the sun dogs change, with them being red closest to the sun and then becoming orange and then blue as they move further away.

Photo courtesy of Alec Thompson – Grand Forks, ND

-Stephanie Waldref

2 Responses

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