HomeUncategorized11-08-08: Does Antarctica Have Rainbows?

Another great question! YES!

It was just a moment. The weather is changing so fast in South Shetland Island. That day it was nice and sunny, in one moment storm came. I saw this rainbow and a group of penguin near my home (Polish Antarctic Station “Arctowski”) I took camera with me and ran there. The rainbow was visible maybe for 5 minutes long.
-Piotr Angiel

Now this location is NOT near me, however we do have ‘sun dogs’ , which are a unique type of ‘rainbow’ created from ice crystals (not rain). Ice crystallizes in hexagonal geometries, which is why snowflakes have six sides. Unlike snowflakes, ice crystals grow from vapor in subfreezing air layers as variations of thin hexagonal plates or long hexagonal needles. (Like a pencil!) When the light passes through these tiny crystals, it creates the little mock suns (or sun dogs) on either side of the actual sun. 

I attempted to photograph a couple of those last year, without much success. First off – it’s too bright to see in my digital camera screen! I always pointed in the direction and clicked! (and missed).  And I will miss breakfast if I don’t hurry!  I hope that helped answer the question!



11-08-08: Does Antarctica Have Rainbows? — 1 Comment

  1. Hi Jo,
    I love your photo of the penguin and the rainbow.I am in the process of writing a little book for children about Penguins in Antarctica, and this would be just perfect to illustrate one part of the story.
    Would you allow me to use your photo? With a credit of course. I am also going to make a special section about the Penguins on my website where I would like to post this picture as well and include a link to you and your gallery.
    Please let me know.
    Best regards,

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