Something Special In The Sky: Ever Spotted A ‘Sundog’?

DEARBORN (CBS Detroit) – “It’s so exciting and it’s kinda scary when you see it …  it’s overwhelming,” said Maria Buffa, who spotted a sundog one January morning, near Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn.

Also referred to as “mock suns” or “phantom suns,” patches of light that sometimes appear beside the sun are called “sundogs.” The scientific name is parhelion from the Greek parēlion, meaning “beside the sun.”

(credit: Maria Buffa)

(credit: Maria Buffa)

According to LiveScience.com, speculation is that they are called that because they follow the sun like a dog follows its master.

“It made my daughter late for work. I told her we’ll have to tell your boss you were off chasing rainbows,” said Buffa, whose daughter — also named Maria — snapped some iPhone photos.  “We’ll be looking at the skies more often after this!”

Scientists say it’s atmospheric phenomenon caused by the refraction of sunlight through ice crystals such as those hosted in cirrus clouds. Sundogs can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but they are not always so obvious or bright as this.

What a sight!

Comments

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Detroit

Best Christmas Light Displays
Best Holiday Drink Ideas

Watch & Listen