Monday, November 5, 2012

Rare Rainbow Cloud Phenomena known as a Circumhorizontal Arc.

The misleading term “fire rainbow” is sometimes used to describe these phenomena, although they are neither rainbows, nor related in any way to fire.
This cloud phenomenon is known as a circumhorizontal arc which is an optical phenomenon – an ice-halo formed by plate-shaped ice crystals in high level cirrus clouds.  How often a circumhorizontal arc is seen, depends on the location and the latitude of the observer.
See it in action:

Formation of the halo requires that the sun be very high in the sky, at an elevation of 58° or greater, and that a cirrus cloud or haze be present and contain plate-shaped ice crystals. The sun’s altitude determines the visibility of the halo.

Photo: Ravenna, Michigan
Photo: Natgeo/Wikipedia

Photo: Natgeo/Wikipedia

Photo: Natgeo/Wikipedia
Source :

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