Rainbow Cloud Appears In Sky Above Beijing, China

NewsflarePublished: August 8, 201732 views
Published: August 8, 2017

This unusual, yet beautiful video comes to us from China of a multi-colored cloud which appeared over Beijing on Monday, August 7. The cloud which displayed all the colors of the rainbow hung in the sky for around six minutes, according to local reports.

The phenomenon might be unusual, but it is not uncommon at all. Similar occurrences have been spotted all over China, like this video from Jiangxi Province on June 7, or this one from Hainan Province on May 28.

This meteorological phenomenon is called cloud iridescence, which causes multiple colors from the spectrum to appear in the clouds, like oil film on water and is fairly common. The colors are usually pastel in hue, but can also be very vivid. If this happens near the sun, however, the effect can be difficult to spot due to the sun’s rays.

The effect is similar to irisation. Iridescent clouds are a diffraction phenomenon caused by small water droplets or small ice crystals individually scattering light. Larger ice crystals do not produce iridescence, but can cause halos, a different phenomenon.

When the particles in a thin cloud are very similar in size over a large extent, the iridescence takes on the structured form of a corona, a circular bright disk around the sun or moon, surrounded by one or more colored rings. (source: Wikipedia)

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