This Rare Rainbow Appeared Over the Desert at 9,500 Feet Above Sea Level

By Attila Nagy on at

This scattered rainbow is one of the most amazing natural phenomena I have ever seen on my computer screen. Since Atacama desert is one of the driest places on Earth, it is almost a miracle that we can admire this beauty.

The European Southern Observatory elaborated on the rainbow seen above:

This rare rainbow appears over the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimetre Array (ALMA) Operations Support Facility (OSF), which lies some 2900 metres above sea level close to San Pedro de Atacama. The OSF is the base camp for the ALMA site, which is significantly higher at over 5000 metres up on the Chajnantor Plateau.

The OSF isn't just a location for operating the giant ALMA Observatory; it is also where new technologies are assembled, integrated, and verified before they are transported to their final destination on Chajnantor. The technology has to be assembled and tested at the OSF because the air is much denser there than on the plateau, and workers can complete their tasks without the adverse health risks associated with working at high altitude.

[ESO/Armin Silber]