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Friday, January 11, 2013

PENDOMUS INSIGHTS: Sundogs

Welcome to PART 2 of my edification on all things Pendomus!

Last week's blog on tidally-locked planets was well received and I'm hoping the trend will continue. As promised, this week is devoted to sundogs. 

When I first started writing Pendomus, I only knew small snippets of what the world looked like. I knew it was winter. I knew there was a girl who was running away... As time progressed, I started to think of ways that Pendomus could be unique. Sometimes it was because I saw something in a magazine. Or a friend said, "HEY! This so needs to be in the book!" 

When it came to sundogs... it was brought up by Beta-Reader Extraordinaire. Upon looking into them more, I grew attached to the idea and decided to make sundogs a permanent part of the way Runa view's the sun in her region. 

Okay, okay... Sundogs are cool. So spill it already. What are they? 

Sundog
Once again, according to the Great and Powerful Wikipedia, a sundog, scientific name parhelion (plural parhelia) from Greek παρήλιον (parēlion), meaning "beside the sun" also called a mock sun or a phantom sun, is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun.

Holy garbly-gook, batman.  What the hell did I just read?

Okay, basically, sundogs are patches of light on either side of the sun. They are made generally of plate-shaped hexagonal ice crystals in high and cold cirrus clouds or, during very cold weather, by ice crystals called diamond dust drifting in the air at low levels. These crystals act as prisms, bending the light rays passing through them with a minimum deflection of 22°.

If the crystals are randomly oriented, a complete ring around the sun is seen — a halo. This effect is something that I use in Pendomus... Mostly because it looks wicked in my head. Heehee...

Sundogs can be seen anywhere in the world during any season, but they are not always obvious or bright. According to Wiki, they are best seen and are most conspicuous when the sun is low. Which is another reason why I included them. Because of the tidal lock, the location humanity set up civilization is on the temperate band between light and dark. Their sun is always low. 

Very early on, when I was stuck in writing, I would switch over to my other brain-- Graphic Design. Here's a rendition of Runa on Pendomus. The bird is significant, as is the water. But more on that another time. Heehee...

Runa and Rowan.


If you'd like to see more images I've put together to connect to Pendomus, click here

Does the concept of a sundog make sense? What do you think? Cool? Weird? Lost?

Next Friday: Get ready to meet humanity. I plan to go into detail on the compound where humanity now resides. The Helix.

3 comments:

Ray Plasse said...

Hey!!! I get that one!!! Whew!

Abby Geiger said...

What a great idea! Beautiful as well as plausible. Love the image!

Shay Millar said...

Sorry that I'm so late to the game. I love this post. I love science and especially celestial science :D I'm on to your next post!