A skier in the right place at the right time managed to capture an incredible weather phenomenon, known as a sun dog, on camera.
The rare sight is also known as a mock sun, and appears at 22 degrees in the sky when conditions are perfect .
The man, posting under the name Strictly Christo, shared the clip to Twitter on Sunday, although he didn’t reveal the location.
He captioned the footage: “A solar parhelion. It is in the family of halos caused by the refraction of sunlight by ice crystals in the atmosphere.
“The prerequisite ice crystals occur with cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. The occurrence and placement of these clouds determine the parhelion’s appearance. This phenomenon is often referred to as a ‘sun dog.'”
The short clip shows skiers and snowboarders treated to the impressive spectacle atop a mountain, with footage showing what looks like three distinct suns, as a halo forms around the central star.
Strictly Christo, who says he’s from Santa Cruz, California, was inundated with praise, even from avid weather fans who have seen the sight before .
“I took a photo of a sun dog! It was nothing like this! Wow spectacular!” Cyndilenz raved.
Paul DeThroe thought: “That is the ultimate Sun dog. I’m happy just to see a regular one. Amazing!”
GalacticaActual admitted: “I’ve seen many very faint sundogs, but this is spectacular!”
A sun dog is caused by the refraction of light through ice crystals, and can appear on the right or left side of the sun, or both.
Britannica went into further detail, explaining: “Sun dog, also called mock sun or parhelion, atmospheric optical phenomenon appearing in the sky as luminous spots 22 degrees on each side of the sun and at the same elevation as the sun.
“Sun dogs occur when the sun or moon shines through a thin cirrus cloud composed of hexagonal ice crystals falling with their principal axes vertical, as opposed to the halo phenomenon that occurs when the principal axes are randomly arranged in a plane perpendicular to the sun’s or moon’s rays.”
Sioux Falls National Weather Service meteorologist, Peter Roger, told Time it’s all to do with location.
“It’s kind of like a rainbow—you need the exact right conditions for it to show up,” he said.
They’re more likely to be seen at sunrise or sunset, when the sun is lowest in the sky, and are more prevalent in northern latitudes.
Strictly Christo’s video has been watched more than 100,000 and was retweeted across the site, as even weather novices also raved about the spectacle .
Victoria Racing Lady wrote: “That is so amazing!… absolutely something to remember all your life for those people witnessing these phenomenons.”
Changfucius added: “I have no idea what any of that means, but it’s cool as hell. Looks like a portal to another dimension.”
While Little Shiny Button added: “That’s incredible but, honestly, I’d be legging it down that mountain in sheer terror if I saw that irl.”
Newsweek reached out to Strictly Christo for comment.
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