Sky Polar Vortex Creates Eerie Sun Dogs In The US Sky Jan 12, 2014 2 Facebook Twitter Pinterest Linkedin ReddIt This may be one of the polar vortex’s only welcome side effects: Sun dogs! 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. 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. 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. sun dog polar vortex usa 2014 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. IMAGE: @KJAC2408 ON INSTAGRAM IMAGE: @PEETA333 ON INSTAGRAM IMAGE: @OHHBETSY ON INSTAGRAM IMAGE: @DUSTINWILS0N ON INSTAGRAM Photo: @VINCYKP ON INSTAGRAM Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.