Taiwan shatters world record for longest-lasting rainbow

Taiwanese scientists have recorded the world's longest-lasting rainbow at nearly 9 hours

CCU, Taipei, Taiwan.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Two Taiwanese scientists claim to have recorded the longest-lasting rainbow in history, which they measured as persisting nearly nine hours at Chinese Culture University (CCU) in Taipei on Nov. 30.

The rainbow was recorded on Nov. 30 by Chou Kun-hsuan (周昆炫) and Liu Ching-huang (劉清煌), both professors in the Department of Atmospheric Science, as they stood on the roof of the Dayi Building on the campus of CCU. 

According to Chou, the rainbow started at 6:57 a.m. and lasted until 3:55, or 8 hours and 58 minutes. If confirmed, this would shatter the previous record set in Wetherby in Yorkshire UK on Mar. 14, 1994, which was recorded as lasting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or 6 hours. 


CCU, Taipei, Taiwan. 

The world record was an accident, the two professors were originally tracking the rainbow to prove a theory that they descend seven degrees every 30 minutes. On Monday Nov. 27, the professors had a preview of what was to come when they recorded a rainbow that lasted six hours. 


CCU, Taipei, Taiwan. 

Chou said that there was not one but actually four rainbows, including two primary rainbows paired with two supernumerary rainbows. In the photo above, the two primary rainbows are pointed out along with their more faint supernumerary companions, as well as Alexander's dark band, which is an area of sky that appears darker between the two main rainbows.

CCU, Taipei, Taiwan. 

As for what caused these rainbows to last for so long, Chou said that a seasonal monsoon blowing in from the northeast trapped moisture in the air. This moisture formed clouds and light, steady rain but only partially covered the sky, and the university's weather station measured the wind moving a relatively slow pace of 2.5-5.0 meters per second, thus prolonging the ideal conditions for the appearance of rainbows. 


CCU, Taipei, Taiwan. 

Chou is looking to apply for the "longest-lasting rainbow" category with Guinness World Records based on video and pictorial footage.


Professor Chou posing with the rainbow. CCU, Taipei, Taiwan. 

Below is a 360 panoramic video of the rainbow and its location at CCU provided by Chou Kun-hsuan:


CCU, Taipei, Taiwan. 


CCU, Taipei, Taiwan. 


CCU, Taipei, Taiwan.


View of the rainbow from inside Chou's office. CCU, Taipei, Taiwan.


Partial time-lapse video of the rainbow. (CCU, Taipei, Taiwan)


Video of the rainbow posted on the Facebook group 少女凱倫.