Taiwan Rainbow lasts a Record-breaking nine hours - Global Times


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Monday, 4 December 2017

Taiwan Rainbow lasts a Record-breaking nine hours

Students and staff at Chinese Culture University are on a mission to prove they witnessed the world's longest-lasting rainbow last week.

  • A rainbow appeared continuously above a university in Taiwan for nine hours 
  • A meteorology expert claimed it to be a new world record after some 23 years
  • The natural phenomenon can be seen across Taipei from 7am to 4pm yesterday

A rainbow may be a wondrous sight but for most people it's also a fairly fleeting one.
But last week, professors and students of the Chinese Culture University in Taipei's mountains were treated to one that lasted for nine hours.

"It was amazing… It felt like a gift from the sky... It's so rare!" said Chou Kun-hsuan, a professor in the university's Department of Atmospheric Sciences.
Prof 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.

A rainbow appeared in the sky above Taipei for nine hours continuously yesterday, claimed a meteorology expert. 

It's said to be the world's longest-lasting rainbow which was visible from 7am to 4pm in the capital of Taiwan.

The expert, who is a professor of Atmospheric Science, said the previous world record was six hours and it was observed in Sheffield, United Kingdom, in 1994.

He also explained that the rainbow yesterday lasted for such a long time because monsoon was affecting northern Taiwan.

The spectacular natural phenomenon was observed by Professor Kun-Hsuan Chou, who works at the Department of Atmospheric Science of Chinese Culture University in Taipei city.

Professor Chou told MailOnline: 'This was a gift from the sky. 

'I was shaking when I observed a six-hour rainbow, but this was a miracle [to me], being able to capture a rainbow with such long duration.'

Professor Chou first recorded a rainbow which appeared in the sky for over six hours on November 27.

But three days later, he and a colleague observed the record-breaking nine-hour rainbow near the university.

Pictures taken by Professor Chou shows at least one rainbow can be seen appearing above the university campus from 6:57am to 3:55pm. The observation lasted for eights hours and 58 minutes.

He explained that there were actually four rainbows appearing in the sky, including a primary rainbow and a secondary rainbow where light is reflected by raindrops in the region of the sky.

'Besides the two main rainbows that are easily observed, the other two are known as supernumerary rainbows, which are less obvious to see due to the difference in the size of rain drops,' said professor Chou.

The appearance of the rainbows was cause by a seasonal monsoon wind which had blown from the northeast to the region.

The monsoon was said to have trapped the moist air, which condensed to form clouds and rain.

Based on the figure from the university's weather station, the monsoon wind was travelling at a slow speed of 2.5-5.0 metres per second, which extended the length of appearance of the rainbows.

Professor Chou also said the record was a surprise discovery for him and his colleague.

He said he was trying to prove a theory, which claims that a rainbow would descend seven degrees by height every 30 minutes.

Professor Chou and his team believed that the rainbow yesterday has set a new world record.

He claimed that the longest lasting rainbow known to him was from 23 years ago.

It was said to be seen over Sheffield, United Kingdom, for six hours continuously on 14th March 1994. 

The appearance has been mentioned by University of Sheffield as well as a local newspaper, The Star.

A similar record was stated in the Guinness World Records 2014 under the category of 'dynamic earth - rain', but the address was found to be in Wetherby, United Kingdom, but not Sheffield.

However, neither the Met Office nor the World Meteorological Organisation has recorded it.

Professor Chou said he would pass the information to Taipei city council and register the discovery with the Guinness World Records.

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