posted on Apr, 9 2012 @ 06:59 PM
Originally posted by newcovenant
My biggest question: What is a Sun Dog?.
Sundogs, sometimes called Sun Dogs, Parhelia or Mock Suns, are with the 22º halo, the most frequent of the ice halos. They are most easily seen
when the sun is low. Look about 22° (outstretched hand at arm's length) to its left and right and at the same height. When the sun is higher they
are further away. Each 'dog' is red coloured towards the sun and sometimes has greens and blues beyond. Sundogs can be blindingly bright, at other
times they are a mere coloured smudge on the sky. They are visible all over the world and at any time of year regardless of the ground level
temperature. In Europe and North America one will be seen on average twice a week if searched for.
Source: Atmospheric Optics
There is a more detailed explanation if you click on the link above, but sundogs are caused by sunlight shining through tiny ice crystals usually at
relatively high altitudes, and the light being reflected/refracted back to the observers eye. They can be part of a simple (like this one) or complex
halo display, but can also often be seen on their own, sometimes as a pair, but not always.
Here are a few of my own sundog shots:
This one is more like the "classic" sundog shape, and probably the brightest dog I have ever seen/photographed
Frequently, sundogs take on the shapes of the clouds in which the ice crystals reside, like the following examples.
As for the OP's mysterious anomaly, I'd have to agree with all who say water droplet on the lens.