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So-Called Planet X Is Probably a Lower Tangent Arc

By Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist/Community Director
10/29/2015, 7:21:51 AM

This video, seemingly showing two suns in Florida, is sweeping the Interwebs this week:

Did this lady just become the only viewer and discoverer of a previously-unknown-to-everyone-else-in-the-world-including-NASA "Planet X?" Of course not. I spoke to Les Cowley of Atmospheric Optics, who believes it is a camera or lens reflection. If it were just a photo, I would agree wholeheartedly but as she randomly waves the vertical camera around, I would expect to see it move more.

If it's not a reflection, then it's likely an ice halo. Bear with me here. We assume that the blue sky above the top object is repeated around it, but what if that's a thicker cloud? The sun can easily be seen as its native disc-shape from behind Altostratus clouds. The sun is the top bright spot.


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"Sun dogs" make a second bright spot appear on either side of the sun and have been blamed for second suns before (they are actually very common despite what that article says). However, this bright spot is below the sun, so I believe the most logical explanation is that the lower bright spot is a "lower tangent arc" -- a reflection of the sun on ice crystals in the sky below the sun. Or -- it's even simpler and the clouds below are simply reflecting the sun and happen to be very bright.

The third possibility is that it's a mirage -- not unlike the situation I described last week where a Fata Morgana mirage made a "city" appear to float over a Chinese coastal town.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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