Brilliant "Fire Rainbow" Phenomena Spotted Over Coast of South Carolina

This past Sunday, beach goers at South Carolina's Isle of Palms enjoyed a “fire rainbow” that lit up the sky for nearly an hour. Different from a typical arched rainbow, this awe-inspiring phenomena has colorful, iridescent hues that float among the clouds and shine like a brilliant flame.

Fire rainbows, which are technically called circumhorizontal arcs, occur in “high-level cirrus clouds made up of tiny ice crystals,” according to meteorologist Justin Lock. “To produce the rainbow colors, the sun's rays must enter the ice crystals at a precise angle to give the prism effect of the color spectrum,” he explained to 14 News. In addition, the sun must also be at an altitude of at least 58 degrees above the horizon.

Visible over an idyllic seascape, this incredible rarity didn't go unnoticed–it was promptly photographed and shared on social media. See some of our favorite pictures below.

Above photo credit: @sseaburd

Photo credit: Tracey Smith

Photo credit: @icrw70

Photo credit: @ginknowsabe

Photo credit: @physnano

Photo credit: @3rdnlong

Photo credit: @sherry13403

Photo credit: @accentsbyalex

via [Mashable]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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