What is this ‘rainbow-like cloud’ in the sky?

Credit: Buddy Beauchamp

Credit: Buddy Beauchamp

On Tuesday, several people sent us photos of a rainbow-like “cloud” in the sky.

The colored patch of light is called a sun dog, or a sundog. The atmospheric phenomenon creates bright spots of light in the sky, often a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun.

“Similar to a rainbow getting it’s color from sunlight passing through rain drops, the sun dog gets it’s colors from sunlight shining through Cirrus (ice crystal) clouds,” Van Denton said.

They can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but they are not always obvious or bright.

Sundogs are best seen and are most conspicuous when the sun is low.

Credit: Sandra Ashburn

Credit: Sandra Ashburn

Filed in: Weather Blog

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