Unique halo, sundog combination illuminates a frosty metro sky

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Sundog halo Kansas City

Photo courtesy of Teresa and Mark Harvey

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A unique light formation appeared in the Northland sky on Tuesday combining two more common sights — a halo and a sundog.

A viewer took a picture of the formation at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of 169 Highway and Tiffany Springs Parkway. In the photo, you can see what looks like a circle of light with rainbow colors marked on both the left and right sides with brighter light spots.

Halos can form both around the sun and the moon, according to the National Weather Service. Although they’re usually just white, sometimes they can contain rainbow colors, like in the photo.

Sundogs, also known as mock suns or parhelia, which means “with the sun,” are located at about 22 degrees either left, right, or both, from the sun. The colors usually go from red closest to the sun, out to blue on the outside of the sundog.

Both formations are created from ice crystals from cirrus clouds refracting light from the sun.

Recent freezing temperatures in the metro have created other light formations too. Just last Saturday, a sun pillar sprung up over a cold, blood-red sunset sky.

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