Pastoral Paraselene ~ A colourful moondog, a paraselene, lights the Shropshire, England sky.  Around the cloudy moon a corona hints its presence, its diffraction no rival to the hearty refraction of the moondog.    Radiation fog layers a foreground barley field.   An image by Andrew Steele ( ).  ©Andrew Steele, shown with permission.

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Paraselenae like sundogs are formed by hexagonal plate ice crystals in high cloud.

Colour separation occurs as rays enter a crystal side face. Blue refracts more strongly than red. Colours disperse further when rays leave through another side face angled 60° to the first.

The route through the crystal is only straightforward when the sun is close to the horizon. To get light of a higher sun through the thin ice plate the rays must reflect up and down between the large upper and lower crystal facets.