A photo has surfaced that was taken by a resident in New York state that shows something you don't necessarily see everyday. Searching for answers, the viewer who took the shot sent the picture to a news and weather affiliate.

With news of another possible Aurora Borealis in early June, many residents of New York are already looking to the skies as they hopefully await the arrival of the Northern Lights. But this particular phenomena was not caused by solar storms, or even severe weather found here on Earth.

See Also: Aurora Northern Lights May Soon Return Above New York State

It was also not another fireball entering the atmosphere, and certainly not some sort of extraterrestrial intelligence that had appeared. What was it?

What Are These Colors in the Sky?

WNYT shared a photo sent by a person in Bacon Hill area of Saratoga County, New York that shows what appears to be rainbow-colored ripple in the clouds. According to First Warning Meteorologist Reid Kisselbac, the phenomena is called cloud iridescence.

See Also: Object Traveling Over 38 Thousand MPH Reported Over Lower Hudson Valley

Cloud iridescence is described as a colorful optical phenomenon that occurs in a cloud and appears in the general proximity of the Sun or Moon, according to Wikipedia. It is somewhat similar to seeing rainbow colors in oil films, soap bubbles, or on puddles.

Cloud iridescence is a "relatively rare" occurrence, according to NOAA.

See Also: Reported UFO Sighting in New York State "Turned Night to Day"

The information from NOAA posted by Newsweek says that "the cloud must be thin and have lots of water droplets or ice crystals of about the same size. When that happens, the sun's rays encounter just a few droplets at a time."

Cloud iridescence is also often confused with fire rainbows, though the latter always occur at a fixed location in relation to the Sun or Moon, whereas cloud iridescence can occur in different positions in the sky, says Science ABC.

Cloud iridescence also originates from the diffraction of light, instead of refraction, says meteorologists.

See Also: Weird Looking Animal Spotted in New York State Stumps Facebook

NWS 2024 Severe Weather Preparedness Guide

Gallery Credit: Mary K

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