An Upsidedown Rainbow?

Children in Year 3 were having a late playtime today and they spotted an ‘upsidedown’ rainbow! It looked like a big smiley face in the sky and Years 4 and 5 also managed to get to see it.

It’s actually called a ‘circumzenithal arc’ and the Met Office page about them tells us that it isn’t actually a rainbow. Instead, it’s a kind of halo and here’s a quote about them from webpage.

‘They are formed when sunlight refracts through horizontal ice crystals at such an angle that the light enters the crystal through its flat top face and exits through a side prism face causing the distinctive upside-down rainbow effect.  They are commonly associated with cirrus clouds where ice crystals readily form.’