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Sundogs form as sunlight is refracted by hexagonal plate-like ice crystals with diameters larger than 30 micrometers and their flat faces horizontally oriented. They are visible when the sun is near the horizon and on the same horizontal plane as the observer and the ice crystals. As sunlight passes through the ice crystals, it is bent by 22 degrees before reaching our eyes. This bending of light results in the formation of a sundog.

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