It was a magical day on December 30th, 2010.  Not only because of Zander’s 7th birthday but because of the “Sun Dog” I was lucky enough to see on the way to the Birthday Party.  It was a crisp afternoon, and the sun was setting over Missoula Montana.  There was a mysterious brightness to the right (north-west) of the sun and I had no idea what it was.  It was worthy of a pull-over though!…and I had to snap a few shots of it.

my Missoula Sun Dog

If you look closely, you can see the edge of an arc (or halo) shooting up from the top of it.  That arc will actually make a perfect circle around the sun if you were to follow it. 

A sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, from Greek parēlion, (παρήλιον), παρά(beside) + ήλιος(sun), “beside the sun”; also called a mock sun or a phantom sun) is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun.[

 Here’s a better photo of one captured in North Dakota:

Sun Dog - Fargo

 I can’t take credit for this…it was on wikipedia

Needless to say, it was really really cool!

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