Sun Halo and Sun Dog

“There is no better designer than nature.” Alexander McQueen

Each time I find something new or unique in nature, I think of the above quote.

I am one of those people who will pull over alongside of the road to take a photo of whatever interests me.  I can’t help it, I love photographing anything I want to research or learn more about especially when the phenomenon involves nature. Today was no different.

The sun was shining brightly but as I drove around.  I noticed a ring around the sun in the form of a rainbow.  I was instantly intrigued. Of course, I did not have my good camera with me.  But I had my little pocket camera that goes everywhere with me.  I pulled off the side of the road and snapped a few photos.

Sun Dog

I figured there had to be a formal name for what I witnessed, so I started researching this evening. The ring forming around the sun is known as a 22˚ degree halo or sun halo.  Basically, the ring forms around the sun when sunlight passes through ice crystals in the clouds.  And, yes the temperature has to be 22˚ degrees.

Sun Dog 2

The bright spots on the side have another name. “At the points on the 22° halo which are on a horizontal line with the sun, the arc commonly broadens to two bright spots”, the phenomena is known as a sun dog  (HyperPhysics, n.d.).  I had never seen one of these before today.  In fact, my mother was with me and she stated the same fact.

Sun Dog 3


HyperPhyics (n.d). The 22˚halo. Retrieved from:


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