New Delhi: People in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei were treated to a rare, record-breaking rainbow when it appeared in the skies for nine hours, the media reported on Tuesday.
“It was amazing… It felt like a gift from the sky… It’s so rare!” Chou Kun-hsuan, a professor at the Chinese Culture University’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, told CNN.
Chou and a second professor, Liu Ching-huang, led the efforts to document the rainbow with the help of the department’s students and the campus community.
Their observations, pictures and video recordings showed the rainbow lasted from 6:57 am until 3:55 pm – eight hours and 58 minutes.
The rainbow shattered the previous record for the longest-lasting rainbow, which was in Yorkshire, England in March 1994 and lasted for a duration of six hours, as per the Guinness World Records.
According to the Guinness website, rainbows typically last much less than an hour.
“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,” Chou told the BBC.
The conditions that made the rainbow last so long were a seasonal north-east monsoon that trapped moisture in the air, forming clouds; sunlight and a relatively slow wind speed of 2.5-5 metres per second.
Such atmospheric conditions are common in winter in Taipei’s Yangmingshan mountain range, where the campus is located, making it an ideal place for spotting long-lasting rainbows, Chou said.