- Sundogs (or sun dogs) are also called mock suns or phantom suns. Their scientific name is parhelia (singular parhelion), which is Greek for “besides the sun.”
- Sundogs are an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a pair of bright spots on either horizontal side of the Sun.
- Sundogs often appear along with a luminous ring known as a 22° halo.
- A sundog is born when airborne ice crystals, called diamond dust, act as prisms and bend sunlight.
- Sundogs can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but they are not always obvious or bright.
- Sundogs are also more frequently seen in the winter months than during other seasons.
- Moondogs (also called mock moons or paraselene), a sister phenomenon to sundogs, occur in the night sky.
[photo source: By Timdaw — “I took this photograph at Stonehenge myself,” says Timdaw. Previously published: https://www.facebook.com/tim.daw1, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26980359]
The square pic of a sundog closeup at the top of our page? That’s a photo by Bubba73 (Jud McCranie) — Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37519861