Posted On March 1, 1998

Our Anza observing site yields great views of the night sky. However observant visitors to the site are often treated to some interesting day time views as well.
On Friday January 24 a pair of fantastic sundogs were visible in the west during much of the afternoon. Sundogs (also known as mock suns or parhelion) are bright sunlike optical illusions caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. These sundogs were so bright they displayed multi-color rainbow effects. There were each about ten degrees in height. I can't recall ever seeing sundogs that large.

The circles to the inside of the sundogs in the above image are reflections of the Sun in the camera's optics. There was also a nice sun pillar that afternoon that continued till after sundown.

If you have spent any time at the Anza site you know that from time to time we get views of some interesting aircraft flying along the east-west corridor out of Ontario, Chino, El Toro, and other airports. While on a short hike the day following the sundogs I heard the roar of large number of prop-driven aircraft. Looking overhead, and expecting to see a dozen or more planes I saw a formation of four large 4-engine craft flying in formation overhead (16 loud droning engines). It was a marvelous site and a wonderful sound. They were high enough that I could not get a positive ID, although they appeared to be B-29s. Since Chino Airport is home base for a lot of vintage aircraft it is not unsual to see WWII vintage aircraft over the site. I recall one day last summer when a half dozen P-51 Mustangs roared over the site one after the other traveling from NW to SE.

However I wonder if there are even four flying B-29s around these days. In any case here are three of the several photos I took. If you think you can identify these aircraft, please drop a note and let us know what they are, if not B-29s.

UPDATE: Our thanks to Gabriela Merello who identified the aircraft below as C-130s. Here is the information. -- Russell Sipe