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Smiley rainbow amazes local residents

An upside-down rainbow was spotted in downtown Xujiahui at 8:20am and its pictures have been widely circulated on the Internet, cheering up local commuters on this chilly morning.

Shanghai meteorologists said it was actually the optical phenomenon of circumzenithal arc or Bravais' arc, caused by refraction of sunlight through horizontally-oriented ice crystals rather than raindrops.

They said these crystals are part of cirrus clouds that hang nine to 10 miles up in the sky

The smiley rainbow is rarely noticed because it occurs so high in the sky and usually in frigid areas in the north.


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