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Dec 13 2013

“Sun Dog” Observed Over Washington County, PA-December 3, 2013

 

“Sun Dog” Observed Over Washington County, PA-December 3, 2013

 

photo used with permission of Cliff Standard

photo used with permission of Cliff Standard

On the afternoon of December 3, 2013, Cliff Standard was driving south on Route 19 traveling from Canonsburg to Washington, Pennsylvania. He noticed something unusual in the sky as he passed near an intersection. What he saw “looked like two suns in the sky.” To his right was the actual sun, and on his left appeared to be another sun behind some clouds. Cliff was able to take a picture of the odd sky phenomena.

Cliff contacted me and we discussed the details of what he saw. Over the many years that I have been receiving UFO reports I have found that quite a number of strange observations in the sky can be attributed to various weather phenomena some of which are rarely seen.

From what I learned from Cliff, and after studying the photo which he had forwarded to me, I was quite sure that he had observed what is known as a sun dog or scientifically called parhelion. This effect is produced by refraction of light through ice crystals. This generally occurs later in the day at a lower sun angle. The phantom sun appears as a bright image on either side of the sun. I wanted to confirm my thoughts with a weather expert and contacted Richard Kane, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the National Weather Service office in Pittsburgh. Kane confirmed that what was seen was indeed a sun dog.