Monday, June 20, 2016

Fire rainbow

Solar circumhorizontal arc, No. 1
 It is neither a rainbow, nor smoke from a fire, but it looks like both.  This is a solar circumhorizontal arc, out in the 46 degree area.  It was so dramatic, and somewhat rare, that I had to pull over to take some photographs.

Solar circumhorizontal arc, No.2
This is a more encompassing view of the arc, showing the sun and the "rainbow" below the solar disc.  As one reader comments, there are some additional rainbow effects to the left and right and near the solar disc.  Another reader comments that those could be cloud iridescence.


  1. It could be camera flare, but it looks like there is some 'rainbow' to the right of the sun? and a little bit on the left?

    1. You just might be right! I will check the originals and report back.

    2. It might be a lens effect, but if not, it's another "rainbowy" atmospheric phenomenon known as cloud iridescence.

    3. Thanks for that info on 'cloud iridescence'. Shooting into the sun that way, I cannot be sure one way or the other. I do see some 'odd' effects in photos taken with digital cameras, as they have a much wider range than what we see with our eyes. In some of my other photos, I mention seeing violet around sunlight reflected in water.