Saturday, May 26, 2007

rare fire rainbow - circumhorizontal arc

look what was in the sky over the public market early this afternoon - a fire rainbow.

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it is very rare, known in the weather world as a circumhorizontal arc. the arc isn't a traditional rainbow - it is caused by light passing through wispy, high-altitude cirrus clouds.

the sight occurs only when the sun is very high in the sky (more than 58° above the horizon).

but why?

the hexagonal ice crystals that make up cirrus clouds must be shaped like thick plates with their faces parallel to the ground. when light enters through a vertical side face of such an ice crystal and leaves from the bottom face, it refracts, or bends, in the same way that light passes through a prism. if a cirrus's crystals are aligned just right, the whole cloud lights up in a spectrum of colors.

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it was amazing - and it lasted about a half an hour. everyone was using their cel phones to call people - telling them to look up, it was really funny.

and, as an anti-climax, more new beads...

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a mashed base of periwinkle rolled in a little bit of iris blue frit. then a transparent lavender blob and another smaller blob of dark silver plum pressed with my circle 'bump' tool. finally, a little piece of silver foil in the center of the dot.

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