GREAT FALLS — People love seeing Mother Nature put on a pretty or unique display, and there have been quite a few sighting in recent days of what are known as "sun dogs" and "light pillars."
Raynee Gullickson shared this photo and wrote: "Beautiful sun dogs this morning. Picture taken just north of Big Sandy."
Val Houtzel shared this photo and wrote: "Sun dogs at sunrise on the Hi-Line near Chinook."
KRTV meteorologist Erik Johnson says that sun dogs appear on frigid winter days when the sun appears to have two smaller companions on either side. These "dogs" appear with a rainbow of colors as ice crystals in the sky refract sunlight like a prism.
As for light pillars - KRTV meteorologist Ryan Dennis says that tiny snow crystals in the atmosphere reflect light and when those snow crystals are spread throughout the atmosphere in a vertical direction, then it makes light pillars form (at least that's what we see...it is really just an optical illusion)!
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