Photos from James Weightman

James has captured a ‘sun dog’ is also known as a ‘parhelion’, which is a bright spot in the sky appearing on either side of the sun. The Sun Dogs are an atmospheric effect and are produced by the refraction of light from hexagonal ice crystals suspended in high cold cirrus and cirrostratus clouds. The crystals act as prisms and as they float down, they refract the sunlight horizontally. The refraction of the light means that sun dogs are coloured red at the side nearest the Sun and change from orange through to blue further from the sun.

A Sun Dog caused by refraction in hexagonal ice crystals in high clouds. 16 Oct 2023.


James has taken a photo of stars using a longer exposure time to create star trails caused by the Earth’s rotation. The colours are particularly interesting and these reflect the  temperature of the stars. James has identified Uranus and Jupiter as well as the open star cluster the Pleiades (Messier 45) in the constellation Taurus. James has also identified red stars in the constellation Aries.

Colour star trails, includes Uranus and 2 identified “red” stars.