It’s a full-on double rainbow all the way across the sky.
The bright, beautiful and vivid arches were seen over Abbotsford during the brief respite from heavy rains Thursday evening (Nov. 4).
— Patrick Penner (@portmoodypigeon) November 5, 2021
But what does it all mean?
These patterns are not the work of a leprechaun’s hidden pot of gold, but from sunlight reflecting off water droplets in the air.
The multicoloured arcs are created when the light strikes the airborne moisture at a precise 42-degree angle. As light waves enter a water droplet, they refract at multiple angles, creating the intense optical illusion.
The appearance will actually change depending on where the viewer stands, and observers from airplanes can sometimes see a full circular rainbow.
When the sunlight is reflected twice inside the same raindrop it creates a double rainbow. This is what causes the colour spectrum of the secondary arc to reverse.