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A sun dog dawn on a cold, winter day

December 6, 2013
The Journal

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello

A sun dog was visible Thursday morning in Lafayette. A sun dog is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun and are commonly made by the refraction of light from plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds or, during very cold weather, these ice crystals are called diamond dust, and drift in the air at low levels. These crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them with a minimum deflection of 22 degrees.

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