Rarely can be seen three suns in the sky. It’s a optical effect called parhelion either parahelium. In English they call it Sun Dog either Mock Sunand it is really spectacular.

The first documented parhelion dates from April 20, 1535, and surely these three suns in the sky have astonished Humanity for millennia, associating them with mystical and religious phenomena.

But it is a natural phenomenon which, like almost all that occur in the sky, are due to a unique characteristic of planet Earth: its atmosphere.

Parhelio, the three suns in the sky

The parahelios They are optical effects. Logically we are not seeing three suns, that is impossible. What we observe is a single sun reflected three times by light.

The reflection is produced by a large number of ice particles accumulated in cirriform clouds. Therefore we already have a first clue of when we can see it: in places where there is a lot of ice in the clouds due to low temperatures, or because it is going to snow.

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That’s why the parheliosAlthough they can appear anywhere and at any season of the year, they are more common in winterand in Nordic countries.

In this video you can see a Sun Dog spectacular, occurred in Austria in 2014:

This phenomenon is associated with the halos of lightand almost always occurs along with a halo.

He parhelion shows the Sun in the center, and one or two false suns to 22 degrees left and right. Sometimes it is even possible to see more false suns above and below the Sun.

Normally it only lasts a few minutes, but parahelios have been documented that have lasted several hours.

The optical effects caused by the reflection wave light reflectionThey are very spectacular. A few weeks ago we documented another one, the Brocken Ghost, which makes you see a ghost walking near you:

In this case it’s your own shadow, but cast on the mist, instead of on the ground, that’s why it’s upright.

Nature never ceases to amaze us. Although we now have the science to explain it. It’s hard to imagine what our ancestors would think when they came across a parhelion or a Brocken Specter

By Lay

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