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Taiwan's nearly 9-hour rainbow officially world's longest

2018/03/17 15:31:24

Photo courtesy of Chinese Culture University

Taipei, March 17 (CNA) The Guinness World Records, the international authority of records set in human achievements and natural phenomenon, has officially recognized the nearly nine-hour rainbow observed from the Chinese Culture University (CCU) in Taipei City last year as the world's longest-lasting rainbow.

Official Guinness World Records adjudicator John Garland presented a certificate to CCU on Saturday for meticulously documenting the rainbow.

According to the university's data, the rainbow, which appeared on Nov. 30, lasted from 6:57 a.m. to 3.55 p.m., or just shy of nine hours.

It beat the previous record of a six-hour rainbow held by Wetherby, Yorkshire in the United Kingdom in 1994 by nearly three hours.

Chou Kun-hsuan (周昆炫), a professor from the CCU's Department of Atmospheric Sciences, whose team documented the event, said a total of 3,520 valid photos with time codes were collected to complete a "rainbow clock" showing the rainbow's movement every 9.2 seconds.

Chou told CNA that what makes rainbows last so long is moderate seasonal winds and hilly terrain that help accumulate just the right amount of moisture, which the university enjoys because of its location in the Yangming Mountain area of suburban Taipei.

Tseng Hong-yung (曾鴻陽), director of the department, attributed the success of the campaign to have the rainbow recognized as a world record to having the right atmospheric conditions at the right time and place with the right people around to capture it all.

Tsai Ching-yen (蔡清彥), chairman of the Meteorological Application & Development Foundation, highlighted the CCU faculty, staff and students' role in recording and getting the rainbow recognized, saying that they took advantage of what the environment gave them and created value out of this natural phenomenon.

The rainbow will hold the title of "longest-lasting rainbow" for an indefinite amount of time, as academics believe it is a really difficult record to beat.

Chou said that the weather, which includes everything from radiation to wind and moisture, has to be incredibly stable and just right for the rainbow to be so long-lasting, and given that there is on average only 11 hours between sunrise and sunset, nine hours is probably the maximum amount of time a rainbow in Taiwan and elsewhere can last.

(By Chen Chih-chung and Kuan-lin Liu)
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