The police helicopter takes a beautiful photo of a rare FULL CIRCLE rainbow over the Vale of Glamorgan
- A police helicopter has captured a stunning photo of a rare full-circle rainbow
- To see one, you need to be able to see water droplets below your horizon
They are often seen as lucky, but if you try to find the end of the rainbow in this incredible image, you may struggle.
A police helicopter has captured a stunning photo of a rare circular rainbow over the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales.
The St Athan-based National Police Air Service (NPAS) South West & Wales Region unit took the photo after assisting South Wales Police.
‘Afternoon everyone. Awesome photo taken by ^DJ earlier today after assisting @swpolice,” he tweeted.
Here’s what a full circle rainbow is and how it is created.
They are often seen as lucky, but if you try to find the end of the rainbow in this incredible image, you may struggle
A police helicopter has captured a stunning photo of a rare circular rainbow over the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales
How do rainbows form?
A rainbow is a multicolored arc made by light-falling water droplets.
Light entering a water droplet is refracted and its direction changes.
Then that light reflected off the back of the drop.
As this reflected light leaves the drop, it is refracted again at multiple angles.
Visible light consists of light with many different wavelengths: red has the longest and violet has the shortest.
Light of each wavelength is reflected at a different angle and the spectrum is separated, creating a rainbow.
The most important factor determining how much of a rainbow you see is your visual reference point, according to the Met Office.
“In most cases we only see less than half of a circle – the characteristic rainbow arc we are all familiar with,” it explains.
‘However, if you are lucky enough to be in the right position at the right time, you can see a full-circle rainbow in all its splendor.’
The center of a rainbow is directly opposite the sun’s position in the sky, meaning more of a rainbow can be seen as the sun approaches the horizon.
For this reason, you normally see the largest rainbows around sunrise or sunset.
However, to see a complete arc of a circle, you must be able to see water droplets below your observable horizon.
‘If you’re on the ground, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be in the optimal position to see the rest of the rainbow – except for the full-circle rainbows that appear, for example, in the mist given off by a garden hose or a sprinkler.’ , says the spokesperson. according to MetOffice.
‘However, if you stand on a tall building or look from an airplane, you may encounter water droplets and sunlight below your observation point.
To see a full-circle rianbow, you must be able to see water droplets below your observable horizon
“If the conditions are just right, you’ll get a chance to see the rainbow in its entirety.”
This isn’t the only unusual rainbow spotted recently.
Last year, NASA shared a beautiful photo of an inverted rainbow, or “circumzenithal arc,” that appeared over a palm tree in Ragusa, Sicily last month.
The rainbow was spotted by Italian astrophotographer and primary school teacher Marcella Giulia Pace, 47, when the sun was low in the sky.
She captioned her photo: ‘Countless times it will have appeared over our heads and been ignored because everything we need is often in front of us or, with our heads bowed, on our mobile devices.
‘Many define the Circumzenital Arc as ‘the laughing rainbow’ because the colors are inverted compared to the more common rainbow we observe.
‘Of all the halo phenomena, this is the one with the most vivid and bright colors, as seen in the photo, even more vivid than that of the rainbow.’