Rainbow Cloud

June 25, 2008 at 11:19 am 2 comments

Driving from one meeting to another yesterday lunchtime, my attention was caught by a small, wispy but very bright cloud. It seemed to shine with a green-blue light; over the next few minutes other colours became visible, until all the colours of the rainbow could be seen along its length. Then, after another few minutes, it was gone.

rainbow cloud

I didn’t have a camera with me, but it looked something like this… only brighter, more vivid.

Its proper name is a circumhorizontal arc, according to the National Geographic:

The arc isn’t a rainbow in the traditional sense—it is caused by light passing through wispy, high-altitude cirrus clouds. The sight occurs only when the sun is very high in the sky (more than 58° above the horizon). What’s more, the hexagonal ice crystals that make up cirrus clouds must be shaped like thick plates with their faces parallel to the ground.

When light enters through a vertical side face of such an ice crystal and leaves from the bottom face, it refracts, or bends, in the same way that light passes through a prism. If a cirrus’s crystals are aligned just right, the whole cloud lights up in a spectrum of colors.

It was a thing of beauty, and the privilege of seeing it was a moment of blessing. Deo gloria!

Advertisements

Entry filed under: journalling, things seen. Tags: , , , , , .

Suggest a sermon topic Fissiparity

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dragonbreath  |  April 28, 2009 at 4:35 am

    Laura Lee saw one in Santa Paula on 4/27/09! It was beautiful!

    Reply
  • 2. Judy  |  May 22, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    I just seen one in Midlothian Virginia on 5/22/09 around 2:00 pm. Talk about a pretty and rare sighting.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Categories

Feeds

RSS Tortoise tracks

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Pages

June 2008
S M T W T F S
« May   Jul »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

%d bloggers like this: