Diffracted Light Phenomenon Produces Rainbow In Brazilian Sky

StoryfulPublished: January 31, 2018
Published: January 31, 2018

A meteorological phenomenon known as cloud iridescence posted a brilliant rainbow in the skies over the Brazilian city of Ribeirao Claro on January 28, as seen in this video recorded by Andre Nassif. Cloud iridescence occurs with the diffraction of solar rays in water droplets and ice crystals that make up a cloud. As part of this phenomenon the light “skirts” the cloud and reflects the colors of the rainbow.

Brazil was treated to a rare weather phenomenon as an apparent "fire rainbow" lit up the sky. Weather watchers were treated to the multi-coloured glow that left them dazzled. This amazing phenomenon looks like a stunning rainbow which is actually a glowing ball of light in the sky. Everybody who looked up at the sky experienced this beautiful sight. It was a very powerful view like special effects from a science fiction movie. Simply incredible!

The stunning scene may also have been cloud iridescence. Both phenomena can be caused by the refraction of light through ice crystals, or in the case of iridescence, by water droplets. For iridescence to occur clouds must be thin so the sun's rays encounter very little water.

A rare phenomenon of a fire rainbow was captured on camera in the skies of Brazilian city of Ribeirao Claro by onlooker Andre Nassif. The phenomenon which is known as circumhorizontal arc is believed to be caused by sunlight shining through tiny ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. Fire rainbows are formed when the sun rises above 58 degrees in the sky. Also, a circumhorizontal arc is formed when the right type of cloud and sun shines at a certain angle to create the colorful sky.

Sadly only some locations in the world have a chance of experiencing this magical phenomenon. Places that have a mid-latitude and is close to the equator have more chances to see a fire rainbow. However, the formation also depends on weather conditions and the right type of cloud in the sky. Nature is full of surprises!

Credit: Andre Nassif via Storyful

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