Stockholm’s sun dog

December 9, 2010

in Stockholm weather,Travels

sun dog

A sun dog appeared in Stockholm yesterday. Photo by Robert Corkery.

Yesterday as I was heading out to a luncheon, the light was gorgeous. There was an ice fog that give a misty glow to everything, as well as a sun dog. A sun dog is an atmospheric phenomenon where bright rings or halos of light are created – often on either side of the sun– by hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold  cirrus clouds. The ice crystals act as prisms and bend the light into the halo shapes. While they can occur any time of the year, they are typically easiest to see in low light such as seen in Stockholm in the winter.

I was on my way into the US embassy for a holiday lunch when I saw the sun dogs. Everyone there was talking about seeing a strange rainbow. But thanks to my scientist husband, I knew we were seeing a sundog.


Vädersoltavlan or weather sun painting was created in 1525.

Interestingly, one of the most famous paintings of a sun dog was created right here in Stockholm. Vädersoltavlan or the sun dog painting was based on sun dogs that appeared on April 20, 1525 for two hours over Stockholm.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon December 10, 2010 at 07:59

Cool that you saw the sundog, Sandra! I read about it in the paper and thought it was beautiful. Never heard of the phenomenon before. Great picture!

2 admin December 10, 2010 at 08:34

It was just such an interesting thing to see Sharon. Robert got the photo on his iPhone, by the way.

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