Polar Vortex Creates Eerie Sun Dogs In The US Sky

This may be one of the polar vortex’s only welcome side effects: Sun dogs!

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Photo: @KKHZ12 ON INSTAGRAM

A sun dog is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright, glimmering spots in the sky — an effect that J.J. Abrams’ and his lens flares could only dream about.

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Photo: @SAVANNAH_HN ON INSTAGRAM

This natural wonder often takes the form of a halo surrounding the sun or as bright patches on either side.

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Photo: @DMODA ON INSTAGRAM

Sun dogs appear when light refracts through plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds or in extremely cold weather.

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IMAGE: @CIRRIFORM ON INSTAGRAM

With the polar vortex bearing down on much of the United States this week, Instagram users have posted pictures of the sun dogs appearing in their skies.

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IMAGE: @KJAC2408 ON INSTAGRAM

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IMAGE: @PEETA333 ON INSTAGRAM

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IMAGE: @OHHBETSY ON INSTAGRAM

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IMAGE: @DUSTINWILS0N ON INSTAGRAM

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Photo: @VINCYKP ON INSTAGRAM

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