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Sun Dogs and Ice Halos

On certain still afternoons, if you are lucky,you will see a pair of rainbow spots left and right of the sun. Known as ‘Sun Dogs’, these are the first elements to appear of an ice halo- a thin rainbow circle around the sun. Caused by light passing through ice crystals high in the atmosphere, Sun Dogs appear 22.5 degrees left and right of the sun, just outside the bright 22 degree halo. Sometimes a second larger halo appears 46 degrees from the sun, with a distinctive arc on top, the whole arrangement looking strangely similar to the ancient glyph for mercury.
Amazingly these two ice halos beautifully match the mean orbits of the inner two planets Mercury and Venus seen from the surface of the earth. This means that when you look at a double ice halo, you are really seeing the spheres of the mean orbits of Mercury and Venus, hanging in the sky. There they are!

This is an extraordinary coincidence. What is going on? Every circle fits. Sunlight and ice crystals paint rainbows for orbits!

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