Rainbow Fog?

Call out to all physicists...

Why is the rainbow flat?  I MUST KNOW.


  1. More information needed! What is the time/date of that photograph? What is the approx. location of the photographer, and the direction in which the photograph was taken? What is the field-of-view of the image? With such information, the extent of the rainbow can be determined, along with the relative position with regards to the sun or moon.

    That said, possible explanations might be forms of parhelia. It is difficult to tell from the image, but it appears that green is over amber. This rules out circumhorizontal arcs, so it might be a circumzenithal arc. On the other hand, there are various different tangent arcs (Parry Arcs, Lowitz Arcs, etc.), so checking these might give some hints. I also wonder if there is a a mix of reflected artificial illumination. Again... difficult to tell without a better image and more meta-information.

    1. "Without a better image"... sorry! I'm fairly sure it's some kind of backscattering rather than a normal "rainbow" (since the colors are flipped). I was facing Kjølen on Kvaløya, it was morning-ish, with the sun behind me.


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