Fire rainbow

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo: Ken Rotberg/WPTV
Psychedelic clouds

A "fire rainbow," also known as an iridescent cloud, appears in the sky on July 31 over South Florida. The rare phenomenon occurs when clouds containing uniformly sized water droplets diffract light and scatter wavelengths into a colorful ring-like pattern. Iridescent clouds are formed by a different process than rainbows, which occur through refraction and reflection instead of diffraction.


Shot by Ken Rotberg, he took the photo in Delray Beach, Florida but the rainbow was visible from Lake Worth through Boynton Beach and onto Boca Raton


"I noticed the sun dropping behind a huge storm cloud in the west and noticed the ridge line and a little flare. Thought it was worth the trip outside with the camera. I shot a total of 101 images. I was just amazed at what I was witnessing. Watching it slowly change. There was nobody near me at the time to share it with!" said Rotberg.

He used a Canon Powershot SX 260 HS that has a 20x optical zoom. "And what is important on the camera was to set the metering to Spot. This causes the clouds to go dark but brings out the color in the clouds. I did minor corrections in Photoshop to bring out the details of the images," said Rotberg.

You can see more of his great photography here.  


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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.