Sun Halo and Sundogs Frame The Royal Canadian Mint
Mike Grandmaison, March 16, 2014 at 4:16 PM

It's the middle of March and Winnipeg is again under blizzard conditions! I figured then that it was appropriate to post another ... well ... winter image!


While researching images for a recent calendar submission, I came across this image of a magnificent sun halo accompanied by prominent sundogs. I hadn't seen this image for a few years and decided to 'bring it back'! While all the details were fully captured in the original transparency, the image was rather light in tone and the contrast was fairly low. I scanned the slide and reduced the exposure to bring out the details in the original image.


According to Tim Herd, expert Meteorologist and Naturalist, "halos are created in illuminated ice crystal clouds or a sky filled with falling ice crystals". This 22 degree halo around the sun is one of the most commonly observed. On either side of the sun - sitting on the halo -  are the sundogs, also known as parhelia. At the top of the halo, I do beleive we are seeing a circumzenithal arc!


Tim Herd's wonderful book 'Kaleidoscope Sky' (ISBN-10: 081099397X) contains a wealth of information about all kinds of celestical phenomena. 'Kaleidoscope Sky' is my 'go-to Bible' for everything about the sky.


This is one of my favorite images of the Royal Canadian Mint!