Rainbows are known for their multicolored beauty, but this “pink rainbow” is a bit different. In the west of England earlier this week, residents and visitors spotted the rare phenomenon in the sky. And it’s just as jaw-dropping as you’d expect a pink rainbow to be.
But while photographers praised the evening splendor, calling it “amazing” and “pretty,” weather experts are simply calling it an optical illusion.
BBC Weather presenter Simon King said there was no specific name for this gorgeous phenomenon, but it’s caused when a regular rainbow and a pink sunset happen at the same time.
He said, “We’ve got a regular rainbow, which is caused by water droplets in the atmosphere reflecting the sunlight into the spectrum of different colors.”
But when the pink color of the sunset enters the picture, it alters the spectrum of colors that we see quite a bit.
“The other thing is a pinkish sunset caused by sunlight having to pass through a lot more atmosphere — due to the low sun angle late in the day,” he said. “Hence the shortwave colors — violets, blues, greens — are diminished and we only see the pinks and reds, giving the rainbow a pinkish color.”
While it’s certainly interesting to learn how natural phenomena like pink rainbows come to be, don’t mind us while we dreamily gaze at the photos. Too pretty for words… regardless of how it got that way!