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10 stunning images of rainbows and their less-famous cousins

By: Katherine Butler on Sept. 24, 2012, 6:01 p.m.

Photo: NASA/Jim Hoida

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Triple sunrise over Wisconsin

Rainbows aren’t the only atmospheric delights. Here we see a triple sunrise as photographed near Green Bay, Wisc., on Sept. 23, 2006. This was when the sun was rising due east on the Equinox. But these weird apparitions are actually more common than rainbows. “Produced by sunlight shining through common atmospheric ice crystals with hexagonal cross-sections,” NASA writes, “such halos can actually be seen more often than rainbows.” The two images on the right and left of the central sunrise are sundogs, which are extra-images of the sun created by falling ice crystals in the atmosphere.