The spectacle lasted three hours, from 6:30am to 9:30am, on Thursday morning in Mohe, China’s northernmost city near the Russian border. The optical illusion is caused by a natural phenomenon known as “sun dogs,” which rarely occurs in China.
Daxing’anling region’s Fire Brigade billed it as one of the longest-lasting sun dog occurrences in the area in recent years and shared a video of the stunning scene on social media.
Chinese weather officials uploaded pictures and footage showing two bright spots, called phantom suns, appearing on the left and right side of the actual sun.
Sun dogs occur when sunlight passes through high-altitude ice crystals in cirrus clouds. The phenomenon is also called “perhelion.”
Met Office spokesperson Grahame Madge said sun dogs can occur anywhere in the world, and they are always intriguing to see.
He said: “Occasionally they can form multi-coloured patches – like sections of rainbows – or they can appear in this case like multiple suns.” The atmosphere above our heads is ever-changing and often there can be interesting things to see for those with the dedication to look.”