Thursday, July 26, 2007

An upside-down rainbow?

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I was pretty impressed with this stunning image pictured by Andrew G. Saffas.

No, this isn't an upside-down rainbow, and the photographer hasn't faked the picture. It's an unusual phenomenon caused by sunlight shining through a thin, invisible screen of tiny ice crystals high in the sky and has nothing at all to do with the rain.

Andrew G. Saffas, a Concord artist and photographer, saw the colorful arc at 3:51 p.m. on a beautiful day recently when a slight rain had fallen in the morning. He thought it was a rainbow, created by raindrops refracting sunlight the way glass prisms refract any bright beam of light.

Instead, what Saffas saw was what scientists call a circumzenithal arc, according to physicist Joe Jordan. Link, Via




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