Have you ever seen anything like this - upside-down rainbow spotted in Gayton near King’s Lynn

The upside-down rainbow The upside-down rainbow

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
9:00 AM

A rare upside-down rainbow has been spotted in the sky in west Norfolk.

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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.

8 comments

  • It is not a sundog. Sundogs appear to the side of the sun, these appear above. I would suggest you Google it, but I expect that might be beyond your abilities.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • Of course it's a sundog or phantom sun, it's no wonder Cyril is a Canary.

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    John L Norton

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • Cyril they probably just look at the pictures

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    Reader

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • Jetranger

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • It may not be cutting edge news ,but it a nice story and cheered up two people who had had a tough week ,and you read it so who needs to get out more?

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    Reader

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • It's not a sundog, as the article states it is a circumzenithal arc. They are associated phenomena but not the same. If you are going to be a smart arse and be disparaging, you should at least read the article and get your facts right.

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    Cyril the Canary

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • Agreed, these are common and I spotted lots of them last summer over Norfolk. Is this really a good news story!!!

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    Jetranger

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • Carl and Jan obviously need to get out more as It's only a Sundog and they are common and regularly seen.

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    Old Long Balls

    Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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