Saturday, January 12, 2008


I've heard stories that explain where rainbows come from and where they go. I have never seen an upside down rainbow. What is the significance of this?

I couldn't get a wide enough view to put this phenomenon in relation to anything. The sun is in the direction of the lower right corner of the image.


  1. EB - that photo is amazing
    - maybe you're below the equator? (rainbows follow the laws of nature that water follow in terms of clockwise vs. counterclockwise water flow.)
    below the equator, rainbows are upside down...

  2. Oh, now I'm really confused. I thought that rainbows were backwards in the southern hemisphere.

  3. It's a halo round the sun - caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere refracting the sunlight. It will actually be a complete circle with the sun at the centre.

    A rainbow is caused by sunlight shining through rain.It should also be a complete circle but the earth tends to block the lower half...

    ...I think. :)


  4. Thanks for stopping by Diane. You are right about the rainbows making a full circle if the ground didn't block the bottom half. You can see a fully round rainbow when in an airplane near the clouds. The aircraft can actually make them. The plane dips into the top of the clouds and pulls up into the sun, look back towards the planes shadow on the clouds and there can be a full circle of a rainbow.

    The problem with the rainbow in the photo is that if it completed it self into a full circle, the sun would have been outside of the circle on the opposite horizon. But now that you make me think about it, maybe I'm seeing the bottom half.

  5. My guess is a circumzenithal arc - but there's a lot of different halos that the sun can make, if you happen to be looking up!

  6. Thanks Peggy. I think you hit it on the head.


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