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I was enjoying a vacation day on Monday when I had a quick peek at my Facebook page and that’s when I saw it – a magnificent photo of moon dogs. They were spotted over Grand Manan Island, N.B., Friday night by Trish and Randy Toll.
It must have been quite a sight! Moon dogs are not that rare but aren’t often as brilliant as they were last Friday. The Tolls were not the only ones to admire the show. A few people reached out, asking if, indeed, they had witnessed moon dogs.
Most of us are familiar with the daytime version of moon dogs – sun dogs. Sun dogs are also called mock suns and their real name is Parhelia.
They look like tiny sections of rainbows; the scientific difference is that rainbows are formed by sunlight striking liquid raindrops and sun dogs come from sunlight striking clouds made of ice crystals which form in the upper levels of the atmosphere.
In order to see moon dogs, the moonlight has to be quite bright… so the closer you are to the date of the full moon, the better. Friday, the moon was full, and the spectacle was stunning. Because the moon was so bright, there were shiny iridescent colours in the small patches on either side of the moon. Quite something!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. Happy skywatching!