Weather Blog

Watch as rocket destroys a sundog

Watch as rocket destroys a sundog
Screen capture of video posted on YouTube by user beachton123

I typically like to show something stunning on Friday, be it cool photographs or some other great weather video, to hold us all through the weekend, but this week might be near the top of the charts as far as "Cool" factor.

On Feb. 11, the Solar Dynamics Observatory was launched from Florida on a five-year mission to study the sun.

Its first order of business: Destroy a sundog hanging over the launch site.

A sundog is the term for those rainbow clouds that sometimes appear on mostly sunny days.

A cloud full of ice crystals was at just the right spot to split the sun's rays into the colors of the prism -- that is, until the Atlas V rocket came blasting through.

Here is one video of it -- with the event around 1:50 in to the movie. Notice the cloud ripple effect too:

13-year-old Anna Herbst also captured this great video, as seen on NASA.gov.

The blast from the rocket essentially went all "Big Bad Wolf" on the cloud that showing off the sundog, scrambling the ice crystals and destroying the prism effect.

More information on the rocket blasts:

science.nasa.gov