Tue, 13 Nov 2018

Taiwan witnesses longest ever visible rainbow, lasts 9 hours

By Sheetal Sukhija, Taipei News
06 Dec 2017, 13:04 GMT+10

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The world’s longest ever visible rainbow is set to have been recorded - lasting for nine long hours, in the mountains around the Taiwanese capital of Taipei.

The rainbow, witnessed by a professor in Taiwan, is said to has lasted for eight hours and 58 minutes in the Taipei.

According to Chou Kun-hsuan, a professor at the Chinese Culture University, the phenomenon in Taipei managed to beat a six-hour rainbow record seen in Sheffield in 1994.

Chou, along with colleague Liu Ching-huang, are said to have scrambled to document the rainbow that appeared on November 30, mustering students to photograph the arc from every angle. 

According to the professors, they were originally monitoring the rainbow to test a theory that the bands of light descend as time passes.

Chou said in a media statement, “It was amazing … It felt like a gift from the sky … It’s so rare. When we broke the previous record after passing six hours, I was hardly able to stay seated for lunch. I was so excited.”

They further said that they observed four separate rainbows during the nine-hour period, at one time photographing all in a single frame. 

They even added that the previous day, a rainbow near the campus appeared for six hours.

Experts have said that a combination of a seasonal monsoons trapping moist air, a lack of strong winds and a partially cloudy sky allowed for the rainbow to be visible for such a long time. 

Even though the moisture formed clouds and caused a steady stream of rain, there was still plenty of sunshine.

The phenomenon is created when sunlight passes through rain and moisture in the air, but it can only be viewed when seen from the correct angle.

Chou has said that he plans to apply to Guinness World Records for the world’s longest visible rainbow. 

The professor added, “With the 10,000 pictures we took in our department alone, and the many more taken by others on campus and people living nearby, I’m confident we can prove to Guinness second by second that this rainbow lasted for nine hours.”

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