THE MAGIC OF FIRE RAINBOWS

Hey Jungle junkies!

As you will come to learn, I love giving importance to natural phenomenons that I particularly enjoy and show people how beautiful some of these can be! Today I took a little break from perusing the celebrity and style sections of every magazine on the planet on my free time, and decided to pay tribute to one of nature’s magic little tricks: FIRE RAINBOWS!!!

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What is a fire rainbow?

First off, just to be clear, fire rainbows are not made of fire…nor are they actual rainbows. However, their name comes from their appearance and bright pastel colors. Their scientific name is: circumhorizontal arc and they are essentially a halo of ice made up of very small and identically shaped (hexagonal) ice crystals within high level cirrus clouds. When the sun in particularly high, it penetrates these little crystals and the light beam is divided into the different colors that are visible to our eyes. This halo or effect is quite large in size, to the extent that it resembles an arc parallel to the horizon and that’s part of why they are called fire rainbows.

When can I see one?

These babies are actually not that easy to spot as they do not occur all year round and everywhere! They can be mostly found during the summer months and only at particular latitudes where meteorological conditions are optimal. Also, it is imperative that the sun be at an elevation of 58 degrees or higher, in order for the fire rainbows to be able to occur. In addition, the presence of high cirrus clouds as mentioned is necessary as well as of course the hexagonal ice crystals. As if all of this were not enough, the sunlight then needs to enter the crystals at a very precise angle! As you can tell…this is not exactly a common phenomenon so it is quite rare to catch a good glimpse of it.

Here are a few shots to enjoy, while waiting to see a real one should all of these extremely complicated but necessary conditions be met all at once! :)

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