UK

That Airplane Rainbow Picture Is Lovely But About As Real As Nyan Cat

29/10/2014 11:59 GMT | Updated 29/10/2014 12:59 GMT

Stunning pictures which purportedly show a rainbow as photographed from a plane flying above it are going viral.

Looking not unlike Nyan Cat had just streaked across the sky above the Caribbean sea, the pictures are almost celestial in their loveliness.

They were taken by Melissa Rensen, who noticed an unusual cloud formation as she flew from North America to Honduras, and photographed it.

rainbow

So pretty...

She hadn’t noticed the blankets of colour covering the expanse until she examined the pictures later.

Cynically sensing the involvement of Photoshop or some other nefarious meddling, Huffington Post UK contacted the Met Office for their opinion.

rainbow

...so misleading

A spokesman told us: “A few people here have taken a look at this, and the general consensus is that it’s not a meteorological effect. The effect in this picture goes all the way to the horizon (so isn’t centred on the observer’s angle of view, like many meteorological optical effects) and appears to preferentially colour the sea surface (reflected light) rather than the white clouds.

nyan cat

Nyan Cat can create a similar effect

“It could therefore be an effect brought about by polarised glass on the aircraft windows, similar to the effect of polarised sunglasses which change reflected light while leaving the direct sunlight unchanged.”

So not a rainbow. Boo.

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