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‘Sun dog’ phenomenon seen this week in Indiana

A sun dog was spotted across Indiana on Nov. 9, 2023. (Provided Photo/National Weather Service Northern Indiana)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Have you ever heard of the term “sun dog?” This weather phenomenon was spotted this past week multiple times across Indiana, including in downtown Indianapolis.

What are sun dogs?

Sun dogs form by refraction of light through ice crystals in the atmosphere. Depending on where the ice crystals are, they are located approximately 22 degrees either left, right, or both, from the sun. Red colors are usually closest to the sun, with blue colors on the outside of a sun dog.

Outside the National Weather Service office in northern Indiana on Thursday.
(Provided Photo/National Weather Service Northern Indiana)
The phenomenon spotted in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday.
(WISH Photo/Danielle Zulkosky)

This spectacle tends to be present more often when colder air is around. A cold front did cross central Indiana mid-week, which resulted in afternoon temperatures in the 50s on Thursday.

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