Sunday, November 18, 2007

Upside-down Rainbow

Last week in upstate New York I saw this rainbow.

The sun is near the horizon, and the rainbow curves upwards on the sides. Normal rainbows surround the sun. This one definitely didn't have the sun at its center. The sun is outside the rainbow in the picture. After a little research, I think that what I saw was a Circumzenithal Arc. This type of rainbow or halo is created by ice crystals in cirrus clouds and seems to surround the zenith of the sky.

I should write some interesting and thoughtful closing sentence here, but I can't think of anything. Oh, well.

1 comment:

Nate said...

Ice clouds make cool things happen. I've never seen a circumzenithal arc, but I have seen a few other things. One time I saw 22 and 46 degree halos with parhelia and a parhelic circle, a sun pillar, and faint tangent arcs! Sadly, I didn't have a camera at the time.