Did you see the sun dog?

May 2nd, 2013 at 8:47 pm by under Weather


If you were out and about Thursday evening, did you happen to see the sunset?  Did you happen to see the column of light to the left of the setting sun?  If you did, you saw a “sun dog,” which is also called a perhelia, meaning “beside the sun.”

What causes this you ask?   As the sun light passes through the ice crystals of the high level clouds on horizon, the sun light is refracted or bent.  This causes a prism effect of several colors.  I took this picture just near the intersection of  Till and Huguenard in northwestern Allen County.  (Looks like it was a good night to have the top off of the Jeep.)


16 Responses to “Did you see the sun dog?”

  1. Mike says:

    Jonathan, No top down weather here north of you. Already down to 42. HA, the furnace just came on.

    1. Jonathan Conder says:

      Wow! Where are you at? Wisconsin?

      1. Mike says:

        Northern Michigan up by Torch lake. Went to 39 last night.

  2. Jim says:

    Awesome! The news needs more of this kind of reporting.

    1. Jonathan Conder says:

      Thanks for the comment. I saw it on my drive after my dinner break and thought I would try to share it with everyone else. I wish I had my real camera with me and not my iphone… but at least it caught it.

  3. chad says:

    I saw a line of what looked like a rainbow but not where your picture shows it.

    1. Jonathan Conder says:

      Earlier this afternoon, when the sun was higher in the sky… there was a ring, or halo around the sun. Both the halo and the sundogs are caused by the same thing… but the dogs only show up when the sun is setting.

  4. Gary says:

    Funny you should post this. I was going to ask about this on WANE’s fb page. I thought I saw one south of SR6 just east of Kendallville this evening……and yep I did. You must be some sort of mind reader!!! HAHA!!!!!

    1. Jonathan Conder says:

      Thanks for the comment Gary!

  5. Carol says:

    That’s amazing. I love getting bits of information like this from you. I would never know this otherwise. Thank you.

    1. Jonathan Conder says:

      You are welcome! Thanks for your comment.

  6. Leslie says:

    When the sun was higher in the sky, there was a really nice one to the right side. Then about a half hour later I noticed one on the left too. I told my friend, “hey look, there’s a sun dog”, and he’s like “what’s that” and I explained it, and he called me a weather nerd :P

    1. Jonathan Conder says:


  7. Chris L. says:

    I did see it and got a couple of pics from Decatur. Here they are:



    1. Jonathan Conder says:

      Awesome pics Chris! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Carol Culver Andersen says:

    Well, its good to see what is happening in Indiana!
    Our sunset last night was fraught with a horizon of fire from the Newbury Park/Camarillo fire. But I remember sunsets in Ft Wayne,this photo brings back great memories!