Why sundogs resemble rainbows

Breakdown Sundogs vs Rainbows

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -So you may have noticed a double sun or a rainbow like object in the sky. Those rainbow-like objects are called a sundog or they are also known as ice halos, snow bows, mock suns, phantom suns, or parhelia.

A sundog is an area of sunlight that is normally seen near the sun. Typically, sundogs are seen in pairs on the side of sun. The sunlight gets refracted through the ice of high clouds. The shape of the ice crystals in the clouds act as a prism, refracting or bending the sun’s light which creates these small rainbow-like objects or sundogs. Scientist refer to these sun dogs as parhelia (singular parhelion). They are normally white but can sometimes be very colorful. They resembles pieces of rainbows.

They differ from rainbows because rainbows form when light is refracted through raindrops where as sundogs form when sunlight is refracted through ice crystals.

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