Circumzenithal Halo Fragment

June 03, 2007

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Provided and copyright by: Michelle Lee Jenkins
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster, Michelle Lee Jenkins

Sometimes referred to as a false rainbow, the circumzenithal arc shown above was captured over Moscow, Pennsylvania on August 10, 2007. Hexagonal plate-shaped ice crystals having a similar orientation produce these cheerful arcs. Their vivid colors are produced by the refraction of light rays passing through the 90° prisms of the plate crystals -- light enters upper horizontal faces and passes out through vertical sides. Unlike circumhorizontal arcs, the Sun need not be high in the sky to observe these beauties. Photo taken a little past 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time).

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