Astronomy Picture of the Day
A Circumhorizontal Arc Over Ohio
A Circumhorizontal Arc Over Ohio
2019 May 19

Explanation: Why would clouds appear to be different colors? The reason here is that ice crystals in distant cirrus clouds are acting like little floating prisms. Sometimes known as a fire rainbow for its flame-like appearance, a circumhorizon arc lies parallel to the horizon. For a circumhorizontal arc to be visible, the Sun must be at least 58 degrees high in a sky where cirrus clouds are present. Furthermore, the numerous, flat, hexagonal ice-crystals that compose the cirrus cloud must be aligned horizontally to properly refract sunlight in a collectively similar manner. Therefore, circumhorizontal arcs are quite unusual to see. This circumhorizon display was photographed through a polarized lens above Dublin, Ohio in 2009.

  High Resolution Image
Tomorrow’s Image: spinning worlds
Credit & Copyright: Todd Sladoje
 Courtesy of Astronomy Picture of the Day Index - Main Page & Astronomy Picture of the Day


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