No Dogs on Beach - 11 year old Sarah Gilligan's prize winning entry in the Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, and the BBC’s Sky at Night Magazine as part of International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Sarah of Liverpool, England was runner-up with this image of sundogs each side of the sun and a hazy 22 degree circular halo. 'I needed something to hide the bright Sun, so the “No Dogs on Beach” sign was the best thing, but we did see the two Sun Dogs or Parhelia which means 'beside the Sun" '.

Sarah's image truthfully portrays the appearance of the sundogs that we most often see - smudges of colour against the sky lasting perhaps a minute or so.

When the sun is low, shield the sun and look each side of it judging distance with an outstretched hand. Check frequently and a sundog will be seen twice a week or so on average. The spectacular ones that are on websites are rather less frequent. However, these faint smudges are as satisfying and remind us that ice crystals high in the cirrus are continuing to do their job in providing us with optical adventures.

© Shown with kind permission.
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