AUSTIN (KXAN) — Why would Friday’s clouds over Central Texas appear to be different colors?
The reason here is that ice crystals in distant cirrus clouds are acting like little floating prisms. Sometimes known as a fire rainbow for its flame-like appearance, a circumhorizontal arc lies parallel to the horizon.
For a circumhorizontal arc to be visible, the Sun must be at least 58 degrees high in a sky where cirrus clouds are present, according to NASA.
Furthermore, the numerous, flat, hexagonal ice-crystals that compose the cirrus cloud must be aligned horizontally to properly refract sunlight in a collectively similar manner.
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