Taiwan rainbow breaks world record, lasts nearly 9 hours

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Many people count themselves lucky to catch a glimpse of a rainbow, but they may now have to dispel the notion that the sight only lasts for a fleeting moment.

The rainbow was recorded on November 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.

Their observations, pictures and video recordings showed the rainbow lasted from 6:57 am until 3:55 pm - eight hours and 58 minutes.

If confirmed, the duration of Thursday's rainbow breaks the previous world record for the longest-lasting rainbow - seen over Sheffield, UK, from around 9 a.m.to 3 p.m.in March 1994.

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Students and teachers at one Taiwan university received a pleasant surprise last week when a lovely rainbow appeared above campus and made a decision to stick around for awhile.

"It felt like a gift from the sky", the BBC quotes Professor Chou as saying.

Chou has recorded the spectacular rainbow with the help of professor Liu Ching-huang and other students of the university.

Rainbows typically last much less than an hour, according to the Guinness website.

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Taiwan rainbow now claims the world record.

"After four hours, we mobilised all our students and began to notify everyone in the school to take pictures and send us pictures", Prof Chou said.

These conditions are typical in the area in wintertime, Chou told the BBC, adding that he plans to contact the city's tourism board to make rainbow-watching a draw for visitors. "But then it did something even more incredible; it went on to beat the previous record by another three hours!" A northeastern monsoon, which trapped moisture in the air and created clouds, along with sunlight and slower wind speeds set the stage for spectacle.

Chou said such atmospheric condition are quite normal in winter in Taipei's Yangmingshan mountain range, where the campus is located.

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A rainbow that lasted for nearly nine hours over northern Taiwan is all set to create a new world record.

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