Sun dog over China
The rare atmospheric 'sun dog' optical phenomenon, or parhelion, appeared in the sky above the northeast Chinese city of Harbin in Heilongjiang Province earlier this week.

The spectacle, which occurs along with the accumulation of ice crystals in the atmosphere, presents itself as a halo with the sun in the centre and two reflections on either side.

The three suns, which stunned local residents, are created when sunlight is refracted through regular hexagonal ice crystals, and only appear when atmospheric pressure is stable and there is adequate moisture in the air during a cold period of weather.

"The ray in the middle that we see is from the real sun, while the rays on the two sides are refracted by the sunshine through hexagonal columnar snow crystals. Therefore, the suns on the two sides are virtual images of the real one," Piao Chunzi, a weather expert, told CCTV+.

The phenomenon lasted about two hours, prompting locals to capture the memorable view with their cameras.