Sun dog over Moel y Ci (‘Dog Hill’)

Sun dog over Moel y Ci


1 September 2010

Viewed from Bethesda, Wales

SH 63219 66497 53.17793°N, 4.04809°W
Further Information

A sun dog (or parhelion) is a luminous spot on one or both sides of the sun at the same height as the sun. It is formed by refraction through hexagonal plate crystals of ice in high cirrus clouds.

Sundogs, Parhelia, Mock Suns (Atmospheric Optics)
Sundog formation (Atmospheric Optics)

Sun dog over Moel y Ci

Sun dogs

7 thoughts on “Sun dog over Moel y Ci (‘Dog Hill’)

  1. Pingback: Sun dog over Moel y Ci (‘Dog Hill’) (2) « GeoTopoi

        • OK, I’ve had look using The Photographer’s Ephemeris for you, and, looking from the church in Llanllechid, the sun is currently setting just to the right of the summit of Moel y Ci. This is the closest it comes to setting behind the summit and it is in this position approximately from between 19 and 24 December. The position of sunset then moves progressively further to the right.

          The parhelion, or sun dog, is the bright spot. Circles around the sun are halos. A line through the sun and the parhelia is the parhelic circle. Have a look here for some examples. There are also a number of other solar halo phenomena. A very good site for learning more about them is Atmospheric Optics.


  2. Yes, the sun dog – which appears to ‘dog’ or stay with the sun – is one part of the optical phenominon. The image here shows more of the effect and would appear to many as a ‘Celtic cross’ and hence possibly Constantine’s vision Will check out Moel y Ci and the setting sun presently and with thanks.


  3. A Google Earth search reveals the setting sun of 20.12.2013 sinking directly into Moel y Ci as viewed from Llanllechid. The sight line for this appears to practically pass right over the ancient monument at Sling called the Old Altar though there are numerous place names like this attached to prehistoric monuments so the naming might be in a sense rather generic, and I wonder if there was an earlier name for this monument?


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