Sunday, February 20, 2011

Solar halo and rainbow arc

A mystery in the sky...

High above the sun and the glowing halo that encircles it, a rainbow.

I'm not sure what this is in technical terms, but Atmospheric Optics mentions phenomena such as supralateral arcs, which I think would be about the same distance from the sun and solar halo as this.

Some of my images show this upper rainbow curving down; in some it's straight across; here, it curves slightly up -- a very subtle smile. (All photos: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.)

The mystery upper rainbow:  a subtle smile.
Photo © SB


Update: Les Cowley of Atmostpheric Optics has confirmed this is part of a circumzenithal arc. I'm excited about capturing the picture -- and about having seen it in the sky.  


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