New Delhi: While we have all been fascinated by rainbows since childhood, a rare phenomenon known as a ‘white rainbow’ has caught the eye of internet users after being seen recently the UK.
Stunning visuals of the white rainbow, also known as the arc of fog, flooded social media after the weather phenomenon was visible off the coasts of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, reported the BBC.
Explaining the formation of the ‘white rainbow’, BBC forecaster Dan Holley said: ‘On Saturday low clouds and fog cleared up along parts of our coast, allowing the sun to shine through, while the fog persisted inland. This created ideal conditions for arcs of fog. “
So how does a white rainbow form? According to the UK Met Department, a rainbow or white rainbow forms similar to a traditional rainbow when sunlight interacts with water droplets.
While in a typical rainbow these droplets are raindrops, a white rainbow forms when sunlight interacts with small water droplets in fog, haze, or clouds.
The droplets are also between 10 and 1000 times smaller, which leads to different diffraction of light. This makes the fog arc colorless.
“An arch of fog is similar in some ways to a traditional rainbow formed from sunlight interacting with water droplets contained in fog, haze, or clouds rather than interacting. with the raindrops like in a classic rainbow, ”the UK Met office said.
A similar phenomenon was spotted in 2017. A white rainbow was sighted in the sky over the Scottish Highlands.