RAINBOWS AND SUN DOGS
Hello all my fine friends out there!
How has your week been? We had some mighty thunderstorms here with a lot of great lighting displays. And it has been and answer to many peoples prayer for rain! Then after the rain often there are rainbows! I always love to see rainbows against dark thundery skies, don’t you?
And speaking of rainbows….here are a few things you might not know….
It all has to do with angles. When the sun is lower in the sky (morning and afternoon) the light rays are more horizontal. And when these horizontal rays of sun hit a falling raindrop the light is bent (by refraction [the simple act of bending light]) in two ways. Light entering the upper area of a spherical raindrop bends, is reflected internally, then departs at a 138 degree deviation. This constitutes the red light spectrum. When sun rays strike the lower end of a droplet, it two is bent by refraction, is reflected internally, then exits at an approximate 232 degree divergence. This is the violet end of the light spectrum. This prism action of each drop of rain water causes the dispersal of the component colors of white light (all the primary and secondary colors). So the light that leaves the drop of water, having been broken down into these two angles, forms the primary and secondary rainbows we often experience after thunderstorms. And that’s how rainbows are formed!
So what is a sun dog? Sun dogs (also called ice halos or parhelia) are also formed from the prism effect. They are the sometimes colorful or white lights in the sky often making a halo at 22 degrees around the sun or moon. It is not the same as a rainbow because the refraction occurs from hexagonal (six-sided) ice crystals. Because hexagonal ice crystals compose the section of a 60 degree prism, they separate the colors of white light. Often you will see high intensity spots of light on the halo known as the parthelic arc. This occurs because “A portion of the ice crystals are flat hexagonal plates and they tend to orient themselves with flat side horizontal when falling through the air….when the sun is at the horizon, they (parthelic arcs) can appear to be slightly outside it (the halo 22 degree arc) at higher altitudes and will flare into a white tail leading away from the 22° halo. Under appropriate conditions the tail may extend far outward on the horizontal ‘parhelic circle’. This extension of the sun dogs is reflection from the vertical sides of the flat hexagonal ice crystals.”1 Sun dogs got their name from the Arctic people in the far north. Often when a parthelic arc is present it is so bright that the rest of the arch is overlooked, and often there are two parthelic arcs present. Thus they were referred to as sun dogs!
Both of these phenomena in the heavens declare the glory of God. In chapter nine of the book of Genesis, scripture documents that the rainbow is a symbol of Gods covenant to never again destroy the earth with a world wide flood. And both of these phenomena are highly organized reflecting God sense of an intelligent designer who creates all things with a sense of order (as opposed to an evolutionists explanation of random selection). One other thing I would like to point out in relation to God and rainbows. The Hebrew word used in Genesis nine of the Bible for bow is arch and is the same word utilized elsewhere as in “bow (arch) and arrow”. So not only did God give us his covenant or promise to not flood the planet again, but He also gave us a sign of His protection….the “arch/bow” of the rainbow.
May you look at rainbows with a deeper understanding from now on!
God bless and take care,
This week in the night skies; northern hemisphere; “Wednesday, July 16. If you have a dark enough sky, the Milky Way now forms a magnificent arch high across the whole eastern sky after nightfall is complete. It runs all the way from below Cassiopeia in the north-northeast, up and across Cygnus and the Summer Triangle in the east, and down past the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot in the south. Thursday, July 17. The Big Dipper, high in the northwest after dark, is beginning to turn around to "scoop up water" through the nights of summer and early fall.
The waning Moon, nearly at last quarter, rises around 11 or midnight and climbs high in the early-morning hours. Far in its background is Uranus, magnitude 5.8. Locate it with binoculars or a wide-field telescope. Friday, July 18. Last-quarter Moon (exact at 10:08 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, USA). The Moon rises around midnight tonight, shining in Pisces.
Early Saturday morning before dawn, the faint asteroid 611 Valeria will occult an 8.7-magnitude star in Pisces for observers along a track crossing northern Mexico, Texas, the Deep South (including the Atlanta area) and the Carolinas.”2
In the southern hemisphere; “Saturn is high in the evening sky, and was at opposition on June 11th. Saturn is visible most of the night. Saturn is high enough from around 8 pm for decent telescopic observation and sets around 2:30 am. Saturn is in Libra near the head of the constellation of the Scorpion and forms a line with the two brightest stars of Libra. Morning sky on Wednesday July 16 looking north-east from Adelaide at 6:30 am ACST. Venus forms a triangle with the bright red stars Aldebaran and Betelgeuse. Mercury is at its closest with Venus. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at equivalent local times….Venus was at its furthest distance from the Sun on the 23rd of March, and is slowly sinking towards the horizon. Venus is a clear gibbous Moon shape in a telescope. Venus forms a triangle with the bright red stars Aldebaran and Betelgeuse. During the week Venus comes closer to the horizon, and the rapidly climbing Mercury.”3
O”Quinn, Jonathan, D.P.M., M.S., Creation Matters, Vo. 19 No 1, Jan/Feb 2014, pg. 9, produced by the Creation Research Society: