Latest News:  
Beijing   Sunny/Cloudy    13 / 1 ℃  City Forecast

English>>China Society

'Smiling rainbow' brightens city sky

(Global Times)

13:26, December 11, 2012

A circumzenithal arc forms in the sky above Huangpu district Monday morning. Photos: Courtesy of Shirley Han

A circumzenithal arc, an optical phenomenon that looks like an inverted rainbow, appeared in the sky over Xuhui district around 8:20 am Monday morning.

Some of the people who spotted the phenomenon posted photos of what they called the "smiling rainbow" on their microblogs.

However, the phenomenon is something different than a rainbow, said Fu Yi, a press officer with the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

A circumzenithal arc can appear when sunlight passes through ice crystals that form 6,000 to 8,000 meters off the ground, creating a thin haze, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau's website.

The ice crystals, which are smaller than grains of salt, serve as a prism for the light that forms the phenomenon, Fu said. The arc followed the appearance of a sun dog - another optical phenomenon in which two bright spots appear on either side of the sun.

"These are rare sights that do not occur regularly. People can only see them under specific conditions," Fu told the Global Times.

The phenomena can occur anywhere in the world at any time, but they are more common farther north, Fu added.

The circumzenithal arc remained for about an hour and then disappeared around 9:30 am, Fu said. The sun dog, which is also born from sunlight passing through ice crystals, garnered less attention because it only lasted a short time.

【1】 【2】

We Recommend:

126-centimeter-tall couples'group wedding

Concept cars at Guangzhou Auto Show

Harbin-Dalian high-speed railway starts operation

Attractive beauties at auto exhibitions

Photos of National Geographic Photo Contest

Tourists enjoy seaside in China's Hainan

Girl receive banknote dress from sugar daddy

Development of telecommunication

Beautiful model at Cadillac booth


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. China's WZ-10 armed copters in training

  2. PLA recruits to join army units

  3. Unforgettable moments you cannot miss

  4. Fantastic undersea world in Indonesia

  5. Cumquat market in S China's Guangxi

  6. Skyscraper Shanghai Tower

  7. 2013's holiday dates cause upset for some

  8. When Weibo meets WeChat

Most Popular


  1. Translation industry needs legislation and regulation
  2. Mo mania's impact on Chinese writing
  3. Turning point in China's economy growth at hand
  4. Long way for CNOOC after Nexen takeover approval
  5. More translations needed for Chinese literature
  6. Commentary: Western powers should drop bias
  7. Stock market needs regulation, not promotion
  8. BRICS economies are not fading
  9. Debate over gaokao policy heats up
  10. A survey on lunch in Beijing's primary schools

What’s happening in China

Cumquat market in S China's Guangxi

  1. China to protect 1,000 minority villages
  2. Building catches fire in Shanghai's Pudong
  3. Computerized welfare lottery sales hit 100 bln RMB
  4. Foreigners asked to retrace Long March
  5. Online name-calling not equal to public opinion