Close-up of a parhelion

Close-up of a parhelion

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Credit: MARTYN F. CHILLMAID/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Parhelions, or sundogs, are light spots on the solar halo at either side of the Sun (left side seen here). They are an optical effect that occurs when the Sun lies below 60 degrees to the horizon and sunlight is refracted through ice crystals found in the high cirrus clouds. The crystals are hexagonal plates and the larger their diameter the more colourful the effect. Each refraction is at 22 degrees from the sun, at the same height. The colour is most intense on the side nearest the Sun. Photographed in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France, 30 minutes before sunset in August.

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Keywords: atmosphere, atmospheric phenomenon, august, boulogne-sur-mer, cirrus clouds, clouds, color, colorful, colour, colourful, false sun, france, ice crystals, meteorological, meteorology, mock sun, optical effect, parhelion, refracted, refraction, solar halo, sun, sundog, weather

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