All over the world, people welcomed the New Year with lots of light and vibrant fireworks. But China welcomed the New Year on a brighter, sunnier note. The Chinese city of Fuyu witnessed not one, but three suns on 31st December 2019. Yes, 3 suns adorned the skies of Fuyu. Two large glowing orbs appeared near the sun making the star seem dwarfed in the skies above the country’s Jilin Province. And if you’re wondering how this happened then here’s why China witnessed 3 suns on the last day of 2019.
What’s In It?
Fuyu city, witnessed the artificial suns for around 20 minutes of 31st December 2019, before they disappeared altogether. S if you’re wondering how two random stars were shining near the sun in China, then this is how. The two suns were not real at all. They actually appeared because of a scientific phenomenon known as a sun dog.
The atmospheric optical phenomenon which China witnessed on New Year’s Eve is also referred to as a parhelion or sun dog. This is a phenomenon caused due to the refraction of sunlight by ice crystals in the Earth’s atmosphere. The sun dog or parhelion usually creates glowing orbs in the sky at an estimated 22 degrees to the left and right of the sun, at the same altitude above the horizon, as reported by a reputed news agency.
Three “suns” appear on the sky over northeast China☀️☀️☀️
This spectacular view is caused by a natural phenomenon called “sun dog,” also known as mock suns or parhelia, as a result of light refraction through ice crystals. https://t.co/N31a8Um6B2 pic.twitter.com/ZbBJLYu8gB
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) January 2, 2020
It’s possible for sun dog phenomenon to occur at any time of the year at any place. But they are visible clearly when the sun is lower on the horizon during the months of January, April, August and October. The temperature too needs to be very cold, around 20 degrees below zero Celsius when the sun is still low in the sky for the spectacular sun dog phenomenon to occur. It’s seen whenever and wherever there are short, detached clouds like cirrus clouds. NASA states that sun dogs are a new type of ice halos which are formed by ice crystals in the form of plates drifting down from the sky similar to leaves fluttering from trees. Chinese resident, Shi Li was amazed to see this and felt like heaven opened. So now that you know how magical this was, maybe you can think about visiting China next winter and hope to spot this magical sun dog phenomenon.