You never know what you’ll find while biking across the country, and sometimes you can see some pretty strange things, like this dancing beam of light above the clouds. A cyclist captured the incredible phenomenon and shared the footage on the internet.
The dancing beam of light is called a ‘jumping sundog’, and certainly is one of the rarest weather phenomenon to see. While there is a scientific explanation, it looks like something out of an X-Files episode on some secret government conspiracy, or extraterrestrial activity. Only one thing’s for sure—it’s a pretty amazing thing to witness.
In reality it’s not entirely clear what causes this phenomenon, but according to NASA, a ‘jumping sundog’ appears when a lightning discharge changes the electric field in the sky, rearranging charged ice crystals which reflect sunlight. NASA scientists added: ‘‘The old electric field may be restored, causing the ice crystals to return to their original orientation.’’ This means, the beam of light jumps back to its initial position.
Typically sundogs appears as two pillars of light on either side of the sun, but when this happens in the sky above 20,000 feet, it may form a more common halo ring around the sun or moon.