This isn’t a Rainbow


Photo by: James Marcum, Galveston

It’s called a circumhorizon arc.  Cirrus clouds are made up of microscopic ice crystals and float 30,000 feet above us. In the summertime when the sun is very high in the sky, around noon, these clouds will reflect and refract light making what some mistake to be a rainbow.  Most times it won’t even be raining. 

Here is a really good web site that explains and shows other types of halos and arcs:

Atmospheric Optics


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