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Rare "rainbow clouds" in the North Carolina sky

Added Mon, 25/04/2022
Дата публикации
Mon, 25/04/2022

Residents of the US state of North Carolina captured a rather rare atmospheric phenomenon known as "rainbow clouds", or a near horizon arc.

The optical phenomenon is a kind of halo, when the sun's rays are reflected from ice crystals in the atmosphere. To obtain such a rainbow effect, it is necessary that cirrus clouds or an inversion trail of an airplane are present high in the sky, and the sun is above 58 degrees.

In addition, flat hexagonal ice floes in cirrus clouds should be positioned horizontally so that the sunlight passing through them is refracted in a certain way and scattered into seven colors of the spectrum.

Near-horizon arcs are more often observed in the tropics, but, for example, they cannot be seen in the Arctic, since the sun never reaches the required height there.

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