Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Clouds and Fire Rainbows

The past couple days here have had a bunch of fire rainbows, aka circumhorizontal arcs. This is a relatively rare optical phenomenon that occurs when sun refracts just right through hexagonal ice crystals in cirrus clouds. I'm actually not sure whether what we had were really circumhorizontal arcs or rather infralateral arcs or something else, but in any case, essentially what happened was the cirrus clouds turned rainbow colors. It was very pretty.

There are some really amazing photos of fire rainbows out there (check out this one!). None of ours were that spectacular, but some of them were really quite nice--very noticeable and worth taking a picture of. Unfortunately, I never seemed to have my camera handy whenever the best ones were shining. I did take my camera out at one point to search for fire rainbows, but I only got shots with tiny little faint ones. Mostly, I just took pictures of some cool clouds. Here are some of the shots I took. See if you can find the fire rainbows in the last two.

Yes, that's my car.

Find the rainbows!

I'm going to reunions this weekend, leaving on Thursday, and I plan to be, uh, occupied tomorrow afternoon and evening, so I may not have any more posts until next week. Next month. Eek. Can you believe it's almost June?


Sebastian said...

Pretty! I only recently discovered halos -- similar phenomenon I think, high, ice-crystalish clouds: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_(optical_phenomenon)

I don't think we get anything like that here in the UK... maybe in the Scottish highlands or something.

I need to do some more cold-weather photography darnit!

Eleni said...

Nice. Those light pillars and sundogs are pretty cool, too.

I won't be doing much cold-weather photography in Hawaii. Luckily, there will be plenty of other things to take pictures of.