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Sundogs spotted on frigid Minnesota morning

One of the perks of waking up to subzero temperatures? The atmosphere is primed for sundogs.

MINNESOTA, USA — Editor's Note: The video above first originally on KARE 11 on July 7, 2021.

It can be tough to get moving on a frigid, subzero Minnesota morning.

But if you look on the bright side, and literally look toward the sun, you could be rewarded with a sundog.

Sundogs happen when light refracts through ice crystals high up in the atmosphere.

Those crystals are shaped like hexagonal prisms and float down to the ground horizontally. When sunlight enters the crystals, the light is bent and creates mini rainbows about 22 degrees on the left, right, or both sides of the sun.

Red light bends less, and blue light bends more, so when you see a sundog, you'll notice that the red part of the rainbow is closer to the sun, and the blue part is on the outer side.

We see sundogs much more often in winter because of the colder temperatures, but it's still possible to spot them in the summer. KARE 11 meteorologist Ben Derry says that can happen when the temperatures in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere are cold enough.

Friday morning, sundogs were spotted all across Minnesota. Check out some of the photos KARE 11 viewers shared with us below.

Have a photo to share? Submit it using the "Near Me" feature on the KARE 11 app or text your pictures to 763-797-7215.

KARE 11 WeatherMinds

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