A rare pink rainbow has been spotted in the sky in the west of England. The phenomenon, seen in Bristol, Taunton and Yate, has been described as an “optical illusion” by experts. People who photographed it described it as amazing and pretty.

In The Earth Emperor’s Eye, Lucy reveals the majesty and wonder of rainbows in helping to demonstrate the deep magic of our enchanted Earth. It’s strange then that a rare rose coloured rainbow should appear over Bristol. The city is home to the regional headquarters of BBC West and the BBC Natural History Unit based at Broadcasting House, which produces television, radio and online content with a natural history or wildlife theme. These include nature documentaries, including The Blue Planet and Planet Earth. The city has a long association with David Attenborough’s authored documentaries, including Life on Earth. Is this just a coincidence?

A more rational explanation came from the BBC Weather presenter Simon King. He said there was no specific name for the phenomenon, which was caused by a regular rainbow and a pink sunset happening at the same time. “We’ve got a regular rainbow, which is caused by water droplets in the atmosphere reflecting the sunlight into the spectrum of different colours. 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 – hence the shortwave colours – violets, blues, greens – are diminished and we only see the pinks and reds, giving the rainbow a pinkish colour.”

Mmm, its Mother Nature at her finest.

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