It’s Not A Bird. It’s Not A Plane. It’s … ?

Alert — and uncertain — “06880” reader Lara Willis just sent this photo:

She took it at 12:10 this afternoon, in the parking lot behind Trader Joe’s.

Five minutes later, it was gone.

She’s pretty sure it’s not a rainbow. Hey: It didn’t rain.

If you know what this was, click “Comments” below.

If you just think it looks gorgeous, click “Comments” too.

40 responses to “It’s Not A Bird. It’s Not A Plane. It’s … ?

    • Melissa Crouch Chang

      I see I’m wrong, but I think that alanthamilton below is correct – circumhorizontal arc

  1. It’s called Cloud Iridescence. Water or ice particles refract in the clouds and cause it. Cool stuff……

  2. Bob Fatherley

    High altitude ice crystals turning sunlight into a prism.

  3. Lynn Wilson

    It’s gorgeous!

  4. So cool. I believe it may be Cloud Iridescence?

    Here’s more information and pics:

  5. alanthamilton

    I think it’s a circumhorizontal arc.

  6. Announced yesterday: Space Force One
    Kim, Putin, Dutuerte, Shih, Pence on board. Oh, Melania.

  7. It’s also known as a Sundog

  8. Dave Feliciano

    Learned a lot today, I thought it was God smiling.

  9. Patricia McMahon


  10. Susana Weyer

    Thank you for sharing! It made my day brighter. Just beautiful!

  11. Photoshop

  12. Seth Goltzer

    It is like a rainbow , caused by stratospheric ice crystals in the cloud that act like prisms,

  13. Seth Goltzer

    I should say that it is a Stratus cloud containing ice crystals.
    Stuff that was taught when I went to school many years ago.
    Nowadays it can

    be described as kinda like when some water spills on the screen of your phone and it makes pretty colors and you have to get off Facebook for 30 seconds and your life is ruined….kinda!

  14. Northern lights perhaps?
    Although it wouldn’t make sense…

    • Ahhh just read previous comments and they make more sense;)

      But it beautiful nonetheless!!!

  15. Nancy Hunter

    World Refugee Day.

  16. Jeff Seaver

    Irridescent clouds… ice in the atmosphere I think. Gorgeous… great shot by Lara.

  17. Is that what pilots call a Glory? My father used to see it very occasionally when he had his plane.

  18. Wendy Batteau

    Whatever the “non-rainbow” is named, the photo should be on the cover of a Westport calendar.

  19. Janet Navon

    It is obviously in honor of LGBTQ pride month

  20. Candace Banks

    Stunning photo, Lara!! 🙂

  21. Denise Torve

    Being positive in these dark, dreadful times. An omen that better days are coming.

  22. Maria Parker Karlen

    Think it’s a reflection of the ice crystals ina renticular cloud

  23. Karen Wambach

    We always called these sun dogs…don’t know why….

  24. Stephanie Bass

    ..beginning of a Rod Serling (sp?) edisode… this time let’s be nice to aliens, from space and next door…..

  25. Matt McGrath

    Also known as a fire rainbow…

  26. Steve Stein

    And the winner is circumhorizontal arc!

  27. Barbara Myers

    It’s called a sunbow.

  28. Jalna Jaeger

    it looks like a large sun dog!