Friday, 9 July 2010

Circumzenithal arc above Old Buckenham

Smiles on everyone's faces
Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle had its annual al fresco evening last night in a member's garden. Both the garden and the weather were beautiful and, despite most people enjoying a little wine and refreshments, it provided the opportunity to see a rare circumzenithal arc in the evening sky. The photo above does not give justice to seeing the real thing.

Unusual atmospheric conditions rarely seen outside the polar regions are credited with causing the formation of an "upside down rainbow". Normal rainbows are made when light penetrates raindrops and re-emerges out the other side in the same direction but the inverted types, known as circumzenithal arcs, are caused when sunlight bounces off ice crystals high in the atmosphere, sending the light rays back up.
The "smiley faces in the sky" need extremely specific conditions not usually found above Britain.

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