Pope Frances – NYC -Dozens of ‘Rainbows’ Appear Above

Pope Frances – NYC -Dozens of ‘Rainbows’ Appear Above

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The heavens smile down on Pope Francis: Dozens of ‘rainbows’ appear above New York as huge crowds flock to see Pontiff

  • The crescent-shaped ‘rainbows’ were spotted over Madison Square Garden and Central Park despite there being no rain
  • They are called ‘circumzenthial arcs’ and appear when sunlight is refracted through ice crystals in thin cloud
  • People shared their images of the mini-rainbows on Twitter, with the hashtag ‘blessed’ 

The streets of New York were packed with beaming faces today as thousands of well-wishers flooded on to the sidewalks to send their love to Pope Francis.

And it appeared the heavens were smiling too – with dozens of crescent-shaped ‘rainbows’ spotted over Madison Square Garden and Central Park ahead of his visit, despite there being no rain.

The mini-rainbows are actually circumzenithal arcs – patterns of color formed from light being split through shards of ice crystals. They are typically found in thin cirrus clouds.

A mini-rainbow above New York on Friday

People who saw the phenomenon posted photos on Twitter

The fact that the light is refracted through ice rather than water allows the arcs to form without rain.

In northern America, arcs are fairly common – with most people able to see them around a couple of times a year.