September 21 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
A rare upside-down rainbow has been spotted in the sky in west Norfolk.
Carl and Jan Manning were just getting into their car at around 6.45pm on Saturday evening in Gayton when they just happened to notice a ‘smile in the sky’.
They immediately took a photograph of the rainbow and when they got home they looked it up online where they learnt the technical term for it is a ‘circumzenithal arc.’
Mrs Manning described the moment when she witnessed the rare occurrence: “We saw the rainbow directly above us, it lasted for about two minutes before fading away.
“It was a poignant moment for us both as we had suffered a traumatic bereavement earlier in the week. We are very close and had helped each other through our grief and just an hour before seeing the arc, we had both said at the same moment that we had begun to feel more at peace after several days of distress.
“Seeing the arc lifted our spirits. We’re not religious, but we believe in the spiritual dimension of life.”
Upside down rainbows, or circumzenithal arcs, are not caused by rain.
Normal rainbows form when light refracts through raindrops, mist, or sometimes even sea spray.
The upside-down kind are caused by ice crystals in the air. They are more common in cold climates, but are still fairly rare.