A construction crew working on a 1,515-foot skyscraper has captured the breathtaking moment a 360-degree rainbow appeared over St. Petersburg. As the footage pans over the continuous circle of the rainbow, it’s almost hard to believe your eyes – but, while it may be a remarkable sight, the phenomenon is not entirely uncommon, as long as you have the right vantage point.
Seeing a ‘full circle rainbow’ requires the right sky conditions and the right viewing angle, typically from high above the ground, so these natural wonders are usually only seen by pilots.
This past fall, another breathtaking circular rainbow was spotted over the south coast city of Portsmouth, seen from a viewing deck atop the 328ft (100 meter) Emirates Spinnaker Tower.
Bernie Welch, 63, witnessed the rare sight from View Deck 1 of the Tower, where he had just started his morning shift as technical manager at the popular tourist attraction.
And, in October, two skydivers were stunned when, during their descent, they bore witness to a 360-degree rainbow.
Anthony Killeen, a British expat who was on his first skydive with an instructor over New Zealand's Bay of Islands, was 'laughing and ecstatic' when they spotted the technicolour spectrum that formed a perfect circle.
HOW A RAINBOW FORMSRainbows are created by droplets of water splitting sunlight into its constituent wavelengths, or colours.White sunlight passes through droplets of water and is bent, this is because as light passes from the thin air to the dense water it slows down.This effect is known as refraction, and can be seen whenever a plastic straw appears to bend and enlarge inside a glass of water - the bending light creates an optical illusion.As white light is made up of different wavelengths, or colours, each bends a slightly different amount.Some of the light also reflects off the back of the water droplet and is then bent again as it leaves the drop.This results in a change of direction that can be around 138 degrees.When facing away from the sun, this will result in a person seeing a band of light broken into its constituent colours - the typical seven colours of the rainbow.