Moon Dogs and Moonbows

pic of moondog pic of moondog pic of moondog

The pictures above were taken on 26 November 2004 from my back garden with an SLR on an ordinary tripod, with a 28mm lens at f/5.6 and 400ASA film. The exposure times were 8, 2, and 32 seconds respectively.

Moon dogs are patches of glowing light forming on either side of the Moon, when it's low on the horizon and shining through ice crystals. You can also get a Moonbow, a rainbow-coloured arc or circle surounding the Moon. One can just be seen forming in the third picture.

The trouble with pictures such as these is that the Moon is so much brighter than everything else that the glare can hide other details. The trick is to put something in the way, like your own head.

This is the only time I've ever managed to photograph a Moon dog. I've seen Moonbows before, although this was the first time I took a picture. The first photograph below was taken later the same evening, while the second one was taken on 24 December 2007 with my Nikon digital SLR, and also shows Mars inside the circle. Both of them are composites of two photographs as normal wide angle lenses are unable to take in a whole moonbow.

The bottom picture shows a Moonbow with Kirkmuirhill Church, on 19 February 2008.

I also have pictures of Sun dogs and a Sunbow - click on the link below.

pic of moonbow pic of moonbow
pic of moonbow

Main page | Sun dogs | Astronomy page