A bright sundog illuminated the chilly skies over Eden Prairie on Monday afternoon.
This optical phenomenon, photographed near Flying Cloud Airport by Eden Prairie Local News reporter Juliana Allen, occurs when sunlight refracts through ice crystals in the cold atmosphere.
According to the National Weather Service, sundogs are bright spots that form about 22 degrees to the left or right of the sun.
These mini rainbow-like features are most visible when the sun is low on the horizon. They manifest in cold weather, created by light interacting with ice crystals suspended in the air. The colors of a sundog often start as a vivid red nearest the sun, fading to a bluer hue on the outer edge, mirroring the colors of the spectrum.
In Eden Prairie, this sundog sighting accompanies a week of extremely cold temperatures. The National Weather Service forecasts a high of only 5°F for Tuesday, Jan. 16, with wind chills reaching as low as -26°F.
Despite these frigid conditions, the skies will gradually warm to about 33°F by the following Monday.
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