National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

During the morning of March 12, 2008, an optical phenomena was visible in the eastern sky from Spokane, a parhelion, more commonly known as a sundog. These typically (but not always) for near sunrise and sunset when the sun is low in the sky and the atmosphere is filled with ice crystals, typically from cirrus clouds. Unlike rainbows, which appear in the sky opposite the sun, sundogs appear to the left and right of the sun. The sun's rays are reflected or refracted as they pass through the ice crystals, forming the sundogs.

Sun dog
Right peripheral
Left peripheral