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Updated on February 24, 2011


My family and I enjoy rainbows. Because we boat, we often see them following rough weather. They are glorious endings. My husband and I were in Fredericksburg VA back in 2009 when I captured some pictures of "rainbow" clouds. We had personally not encountered this natural phenomena. Of course the sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking with their colors, but this occurred at Noon!

Today I decided to research a bit on how these clouds materialize. If a rainbow cloud is similar to a burning sky, it is referred to as a "fire cloud" which was not the case for "our cloud." On the Discover Magazine site, I learned that ice crystals in the cloud become tiny prisms that break the sunlight into its rainbow of colors based on the angle of the sun and the cloud. Rainbows have water droplets. Rainbow Clouds have ice droplets. As the clouds swirled the prism colors varied from brilliant to soft.

Rainbow clouds tend to be high in the air, although ours did not seem all THAT high. My dog and I recently made a rainbow with the water hose that I was using to bathe him. As the sunlight filtered or refracted through the spray of waterdrops, we achieved a mini-rainbow arc. I could see it; wonder if our dog's vision allowed him to see it?

I have placed some other photos below of our ride in Frederickburg. It only lasted a few minutes, but we talk about it often.

I would greatly appreciate your comments on the clouds...and do you know if our dog could see that waterhose rainbow???


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