Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Sun Dogs

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Sun dogs, or parhelions, come from ice crystal clouds reflecting or refracting light from the sun. They can be seen in Alaska in the winter when the sun is continually low in the sky.

The ice crystal clouds form a halo around the sun that interacts with the sunlight. If the light refracts through the sunlight, the sun dog shows a spectrum of colors, with red being the most common. If the light reflects, the sun dog will be white.

Sun dogs got their name because their fuzzy rainbows and lights appear to be "dogging" the sun.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Even though this photo isn't of a sun dog in Alaska, I loved the shot so much I had to include it. A sun dog at the North Pole:


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever seen a sun dog?

My A-Z theme of Alaska is inspired by my debut novel, Polar Night, which is set in Fairbanks and the Alaskan Arctic. Click here for all the info on the book.

50 comments:

  1. Ooh...SO PRETTY. *stares* I've never seen a sun dog before, or even heard of them till now, but I wish I have!

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  2. Dogging the sun... that does explain the name for me.

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  3. My first time seeing one in person was in June of last year. It was gorgeous!

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  4. I've never seen one, only regular rainbows.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  5. Wow! Alaska really does seem like a magical place. :)

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  6. I love seeing those! Ver cool pictures. =)

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  7. how cool! i didn't even know what sun dogs were at all! love the pics!

    here's my post for today:
    http://smhasty.blogspot.com/2013/04/26-books-that-changed-my-life-19.html

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  8. I've seen sun dogs before and they are beautiful! I would imagine the ones in Alaska and points north would be even better, with the sun hanging low on summer nights. :)

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  9. Gorgeous! I never knew that even happened. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Summer.

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  10. I've seen a few in my time, and they're very cool.

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  11. Beautiful! I don't think I've ever seen one before.

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  12. That is so beautiful - it might be dark for many months in Alaska but it certainly has amazing phenomena to make up for it! Thank you for lovely information and pictures.

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  13. You can make those in photoshop really easy.

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  14. Wow, stunning photos!
    Dogging the Sun, that explains it :D

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  15. Sun Dogs re pretty. *Watches hypnotized*

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  16. *hypnotized* These are amazing! Wish I could see them up close...

    my blog: morgankatz505.blogspot.com

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  17. That is so cool! :) I love the pictures and would love to see those lights.

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  18. We get those a lot where I live. I had no idea they had a name! Interesting!

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  19. Wow!! Those are amazing pictures! I read Sun Dog and I thought it was some sort of fast food variation, hahaha. I've never seen one.

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  20. @Heather, I never have either but I'd love to.

    @Alex, I wondered about the name too, wouldn't have guessed where it came from.

    @Dani, oh, I bet it was.

    @Shelly, that's all I've seen as well.

    @Madeline, agree!

    @Danielle, I loved them too, glad you enjoyed the pics!

    @Stephanie, oh, thanks, great to meet you!

    @Laura, I'd love to see them, I'm jealous.

    @Summer, glad you enjoyed it!

    @Tim, now I'm jealous of you too.

    @Kate, I know I haven't.

    @Susan, yeah, they definitely have a lot of magic in exchange for the harshness.

    @Michael, I hope these aren't photo-shopped LOL.

    @SK, doesn't it? I thought the explanation was fun.

    @Morgan, me too!

    @Rebecca, I totally agree.

    @Julie, I'm not surprised to hear you get them in your area, I bet they are gorgeous.

    @Al, it does kind of sound like fast food LOL.

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  21. That is an awesome sight. Alaska is breathtaking...

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  22. I don't think I have ever seen a 'Sun Dog'. Will have to google it and see where it appears.

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  23. Stunning pic. It's so amazing how light refracts creating such awesome images!

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  24. @Susan, I know nothing like this ever appears around my area, I wish it did.

    @Michael, it really is, isn't it?

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  25. Wow, very cool...I've never heard of or seen that before.

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  26. @Mark, I hadn't either. Love them though.

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  27. Your book sounds like a chilly read in all the right ways. Great pictures of sun dogs. I have never seen one, in Louisiana or on my travels. Happy blogging.

    Jan at Website
    Beyond Acadia
    Faith Talk
    Swamp Lily Review

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  28. Ha! I knew that one from my college earth science studies. :)

    And beautiful pics.

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  29. @Jan, thank you! It's really nice to meet you.

    @LG, well aren't you smart LOL. :D

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  30. I had no idea it had a name. I've seen it a few times, but now it's even cooler with that name attached to it.

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  31. Never seen it and never heard of it! So wonderful. You can imagine how many stories that involve sun dogs. Writer’s Mark

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  32. I've never heard of a Sun Dog. It's beautiful! I'll be on the lookout for one.

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  33. Once you explained what they were, I did wonder about the name. Interesting.

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  34. I haven't seen a sun dog, but I've seen moon dogs.

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  35. Really cool! I've never seen anything like that before.

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  36. I learned about sun dogs for the first time a few months ago and was completely fascinated by them. I hate the cold, but I might be willing to brave it for the chance to see one.

    Hope you’re having fun with the A to Z challenge,
    Jocelyn

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  37. Nope, no sun dog :( Thanks for stopping by today!

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  38. @Christine, oh, that's cool you've seen them before.

    @Nancy, that's true!

    @Jenn, I hope you see one. :)

    @JL, I thought so too.

    @Mary, you are one up on me then!

    @Carol, I haven't either.

    @Tim, agreed!

    @Jocelyn, it has been fun, thanks! Ready for it to be over now too though LOL.

    @Tyrean, I thought so too.

    @Juliet, thanks for coming by here!

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  39. Beautiful photos! I can't even imagine how spectacular these would be in person!

    Julie

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  40. Those pics are just beautiful! I haven't seen one, but would love to!

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  41. @michelle, LOL, I agree!

    @Trisha, I would too.

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  42. Wow great pictures! I would love to see that I am also Blogging A to Z.

    http://www.AMomsPointOfView.com

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  43. @Kimmy, oh, thanks for coming by, it's great to meet you!

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  44. Hi Julie - I'd never heard that expression before - what amazing photos ..

    Alaska must be amazing .. I'm looking forward to reading your book ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  45. @Hilary, thanks! I hope you will like it. :)

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Thank you for your comments!