Picture of the Day: “Fire Rainbows” Spotted over Arizona

These rainbows appear when sunlight hits ice crystals floating about in the air

By on December 28th, 2012 12:54 GMT

The picture above shows some very rare “fire rainbows” that have recently formed over Douglas, in Arizona.

Scientists explain that these unique rainbows come as a result of the sunlight's hitting a multitude of rather large ice crystals that are simply floating about in the air.

More precisely, these ice crystals act as a prism and split the sunlight into several bright colors, sources report.

Scientists refer to these fire rainbows as “circumhorizon arcs,” and wish to emphasize the fact that this is a more proper name for such phenomena, seeing how no actual rainbows are formed.

The pictures were taken by Brandon Rios, who got to admire the unusual view together with his father and who said that, scientific explanations aside, fire rainbows were simply amazing.

“I was completely astonished to see a rainbow mixed in with the clouds. I didn't think something like this can exist,” he stated.

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