Best of Web – Ally Leffler

Best of Web – Ally Leffler

This phenomenon is often informally referred to as a ‘fire rainbow’. Ice crystals in the cirrus cloud are acting as floating prisms and refracting the sunlight. To refract the sunlight in a collective manner like this, the ice crystals must be all be aligned horizontally. Thus, this phenomenon is quite rare to see due to the specific alignment of the crystals. It’s especially rare to capture an image like this when you consider the forces that are constantly acting on clouds within the atmosphere. If the wind were to separate the cloud or re-align the crystals, the same effect would not be achieved. The physics represented in this photo creates a captivating art piece with the vibrant unstructured colors as the focus. The cloud structure resembles flames and creates a more interesting shape than a familiar rainbow. This picture was taken near North Fork Mountain in West Virginia by Christa Harbig.

Photographer: Christa Harbig

Citation: “APOD: 2021 August 30 – a Fire Rainbow over West Virginia.” Astronomy Picture of the Day, NASA,

Previous Post
Best of Web // Eric Jiang
Next Post
Best of Web // Isaac Lammers

7 Comments. Leave new

  • Mujtaba Al Hubayl
    Sep 15, 2021 14:48

    First Prize – This is a fascinating picture, the way the “fire rainbow” phenomenon was captured is truly amazing. At first I thought it is a “aurora borealis” but after reading the caption I realized that it is a different phenomenon.

  • Kolby Koeck
    Sep 14, 2021 18:33

    First Prize: I like this a lot because it combines a lot of different elements with fluids and physics as well as the fact that it naturally occurs and someone was lucky enough to get this photo

  • Eric Jiang
    Sep 14, 2021 18:24

    Second Prize – Just the fact that this phenomenon was captured is amazing! This is an example of nature at its finest.

  • Sean Barton
    Sep 14, 2021 14:37

    Second Prize : This is such a cool phenomenoa that is rare to capture and looks like rainbow flames in the sky making it very unique

  • Moayad Sindi
    Sep 13, 2021 13:29

    Second prize

    this picture is really nice. I like how the naturally played an important role in this picture.

  • Melvin Vang
    Sep 12, 2021 18:38

    First Prize:

    The color and formation of this cloud are very cool and awesome to look at. The fact that this phenomenon is also very rare to see makes this photo even more breathtaking.

  • Anna Shults
    Sep 11, 2021 21:02

    Best Of Web: Second Prize. This is such a cool photo and the fact that it’s naturally occurring makes it even more amazing. The explanation was helpful in describing the image


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.