Fire Rainbow is a natural phenomenon where something that is shaped like fire in the sky but is colorful like a rainbow. Even though it is called a rainbow of fire, it is neither a rainbow nor a fire.
The so-called rainbow of fire is actually a halo, an atmospheric optical phenomenon that is produced when the sun or moon shines through a thin cloud of ice crystals. The rainbow, also called the circumhorizontal arc, is formed by hexagonal ice crystals under the cirrus clouds.
Bright colored fire rainbows are usually seen during the summer. When the sun is very high in the sky, its rays then make hexagonal ice crystals colorful.
To make the rainbow of fire with the best view, the sun must be at an altitude of at least 58 degrees and there must be a cirrus cloud with plate-shaped ice crystals. Two conditions are needed so that sunlight can enter the ice crystals at a certain angle. This requirement also makes the rainbow of fire a rare natural phenomenon.
Once formed, a rainbow of fire can only be formed from certain places and certain times. For example in London, England, the sun is only quite high for 140 hours between mid-May and late July. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the sun is higher than 58 degrees for 670 hours between the end of March and the end of September.
Seeing how it formed in nature, artificial rainbows can also be done by humans in a simple way. An artificial fire rainbow is created by emitting light into a glass of water from a certain angle so that refraction occurs and colorful artificial rainbows are formed.
As experienced by this lucky photographer, Cessna Kutz accidentally saw this phenomenon and captured with her camera the incredible rainbow of fire above Lake Sammamish in Washington State, with very interesting photos. She wrote on her Instagram account on March 24, 2020,“A horizontal rainbow! To me, it was a little reminder to hold onto hope and love instead of fear and panic in these unknown times. Stay safe out there, friends.”
“I just felt blessed to be able to witness such an incredible moment,” she tells My Modern Met. “It brought me peace and hope and made me feel less anxious about our current circumstances.”
“I honestly had no idea these photos would make the news. I was just wanting to share a beautiful moment I got to witness,” she shares. “I’m super passionate about photography so I’m grateful that God has used my photos to touch people, not only throughout the nation but throughout the world. It’s boosted my photography business as well as make an impact on people so it feels pretty amazing.”