Triple Suns Surprise Salinans
Todd Pittenger - February 5, 2014 9:14 am
photo taken by Olivia Garretson near Lindsborg
Your eyes were not deceiving you if you thought that you saw a triple sunrise in the sky Wednesday morning. An atmospheric phenomenon known as a sundog was visible.
Sundogs, also known as mock suns or “parhelia”, are a pair of brightly colored spots, one on either side of the sun.
Sundogs are visible when the sun is near the horizon and on the same horizontal plane as the observer and the ice crystals. As sunlight passes through the ice crystals, it is bent by 22 degrees before reaching our eyes, much like what happens with 22 degree halos. This bending of light results in the formation of a sundog.
Sundogs can be seen anywhere in the world, but they are not always obvious or bright. Sundogs are best seen and are most conspicuous when the sun is low.