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Last Updated: Wednesday September 17 2008 13:59 GMT

Rainbow makes smile in the sky

The rainbow (picture: SWNS)

Spotting a rainbow in the sky is always exciting, but have you ever seen an UPSIDE DOWN one?

People in parts of England were amazed when they noticed a smiley rainbow last Sunday.

Usually, the rainbows we see in Britain curve downwards rather than upwards, and the happy ones normally appear in the polar regions.

Experts said freak weather conditions had caused the rainbow to appear in the sky.

Normal rainbows are made when sunlight shines through raindrops.

Big pic of the smile in the sky

Experts say the upside down ones are formed when sunlight bounces off ice crystals, sending light rays back up.

Astronomer Dr Jacqueline Mitton, who spotted the strange rainbow in Cambridge, said: "I've never seen anything like it before - and I'm 60.

"It's quite surprising for this to occur somewhere like Cambridge, usually it is in places that are colder."