David Lamberti recorded this circumzenithal arc in 2019. An alert the kite in the tree! he wrote: “It was a beautiful January day in south east Michigan. I looked up, and there the was, a beautiful circumzenithal arc. It was enormous, and the color were really deep. The faded within 5 minutes.” say thanks to you, David!

People that look up could occasionally check out the rainbow-like arcs portrayed in the photos on this page. They’re dubbed circumzenithal arcs, and they’re not really rainbows. Instead, they’re led to by ice cream crystals in the top atmosphere. This arcs are regarded the generally seen halos about the sunlight or moon. Les Cowley the the good website Atmospheric Optics claims of these graceful and also colorful arcs:

The circumzenithal arc, CZA, is the most beautiful of all the halos. The an initial sighting is constantly a surprise, an ethereal rainbow fled native its watery origins and also wrapped improbably about the zenith. It is often described as one ‘upside-down rainbow’ by first-timers. Someone additionally charmingly likened it to ‘a grin in the sky.’

Look right up near to the zenith as soon as the sunlight is relatively low and also especially if sundogs room visible. The facility of the bow is constantly sunwards and red is top top the outside.

Les claims that the most ideal time to view a circumzenithal arc is when the sunlight is in ~ a height of 22 degrees in the sky. Look right here to view Les Cowley’s illustration that the various kinds of aur phenomena pertained to circumzenithal arcs. And also enjoy the picture below, added by members that the charline-picon.com community. Many thanks to all who contributed!

Circumzenithal arc recorded by Tony archer in Surrey, England.Patricia Chambers recorded this circumzenithal arc native Potomac, Maryland, on respectable 5, 2016. She wrote: “It had rained not also long before I take it the pic. Ns went out in my deck and saw an unbelievable sight – one upside-down rainbow! ns was important mesmerized … Enjoy!”Circumzenithal arc captured September 16, 2015, in Lancashire, UK, through Amanda Cross.Dan Szulewski recorded a circumzenithal arc indigenous Hermiston, Oregon, ~ above June 22, 2014.Dorothy captured this circumzenithal arc ~ above January 9, 2014.Julie Gurnhill caught this one top top February 27, 2013.John Gravell recorded this circumzenithal arc indigenous Boston on October 17, 2012.Duke Marsh recorded this circumzenithal arc top top October 3, 2012, from new Albany, Indiana. Thanks, Duke.Rene Pennings recorded this circumzenithal arc on may 21, 2012.A beloved circumzenithal arc amidst high clouds by Dudley Williams on December 18, 2011.
Andrew R. Brown captured a circumzenithal arc in Ashford Kent in the UK, top top November 19, 2010.

Bottom line: when you watch what looks favor an upside-down rainbow, you’re likely seeing a circumzenithal arc.

You are watching: What does an upside down rainbow mean

See more: Do Cheetos Have Red Dye 40 ? What Does Red 40 Do To Your Brain

It’s concerned the halos regularly seen approximately the sun or moon, led to by ice cream crystals in the top atmosphere.