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WHY DO WE SOMETIMES SEE THREE SUNS ON THE HORIZON?



This strange sight is known as a sun dog, a mock sun or, more scientifically, a parhelion. It’s caused by tiny plateaped shaped ice crystals that are almost horizontal as they float through the sky. When the sun is low on the horizon and shines parallel to the Earth’s surface directly on the hexagonal ice crystals, they act as a prism – bending the light twice. The result: two luminous spots at a deflection of 22 degrees to the right and left of the sun. To the observer, it appears as if there are three suns on the horizon.

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