Sun dogs are a common bright circular spot on a solar halo. It is an atmospheric optical phenomenon primarily associated with the reflection or refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. Often, two sun dogs can be seen (one on each side of the sun) simultaneously.
Jim Burchell’s Images
Images by John Howarth
I must admit that the picture does have a certain surreal quality, which will hopefully make up for any lack of scientific weight! When I first saw the mock-sun I genuinely thought for an instant that it was the real one behind high cloud, but then realised that it was in the wrong direction and the real sun was going down behind the houses on the right!
It was taken 4 January 2019 at 1427UT with an Alcatel One Touch Pixi 3 (not my choice of name, but so be it) Model 4009X and was allegedly 1680x1120 pixels before JPEG compression. It hasn’t been processed in any way.
The location was about halfway along Eastry Road, location 51deg 28′ 33″N, 0 deg 9′ 3″E to the nearest 100 feet or so.