The sky offers many beautiful and strange sights. The Milky Way, a myriad of cloud formations, rainbows, the Aurora Borealis, displays of lightning, eclipses, and harvest moons to name a few. One sight, not always welcome, is the appearance of sun dogs. They usually indicate icy cold weather, at least here on the Saskatchewan prairies.
According to Wikipedia, sun dogs are commonly caused by the refraction and scattering of light from plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals either suspended in high and cold cirrus or cirrostratus clouds, or drifting in freezing moist air at low levels as diamond dust. The crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them with a minimum deflection of 22°. As the crystals gently float downwards with their large hexagonal faces almost horizontal, sunlight is refracted horizontally, and sun dogs are seen to the left and right of the Sun.
Whatever the cause of this awesome phenomena, it’s beautiful!