Thursday, 5 May 2011

I Can See A Rainbow

The first time I saw a circular rainbow was flying into Heathrow airport on my way back from an oilrig. It was quite faint and dispersed, more of a yellow halo really. I've seen them on and off over the years but last week while flying to Perth I spotted another.

The plane was just flying over the southern tip of Java when I saw a partial rainbow. I took a few photos of it but as the aircraft moved over a thicker patch of clouds it became sharper and more defined. Eventually it became a full circle which I managed to film most of.

I looked up circular rainbows but there isn't much about them. But what I could glean was that generally the rainbows we see from the surface are round but because of the horizon we only see part of them. However if you are above the rainbow you can see the entire circle. Previously the ones I had seen had looked more like this but you'll have to take my word for it that mine was a full circle.

On the way back I took another photo of a circular rainbow - this one is clearly a 360 degree spectrum. The second photo shows a very strange shadow effect of the wing stretching far out and nearly touching the horizon as the sun was very, very low in the sky.

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