“First there was the eye of God – a dying star watching over us eerily from 700 light years away.
Now the heavens have become even more personal, as this stunning image of a smile in the sky shows.
The ‘upside-down rainbow’, spotted over Sussex, is in fact not a rainbow at all.
Rather than being caused by raindrops, it is the result of freak atmospheric conditions rarely seen outside the North and South Poles.
While normal rainbows are formed when light penetrates raindrops and emerges on the other side without changing direction, the smile is formed when sunlight shines through millions of tiny ice crystals in cirrus and cirrus stratus clouds. Because the crystals are flat and hexagonal, they invert the light and create an upside-down curve called a circumzenithal arc. The phenomenon relies on the sun being low in the sky, normally less than 32 degrees from the horizon.”
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