Halo over Japan
© Takuto Usuda
Photos of a rare dual atmospheric phenomenon that produced a ring of light around the sun along with a horizontal rainbow in the skies over the prefecture at around noon on May 7 went viral on Twitter.

"It made me feel so lucky because it's rare to see such a phenomenon," said Takuto Usuda, 21, a fourth-year student at Hirosaki University, who posted photos to Twitter of the colorful spectacle.

It is extremely rare for an horizontal rainbow, known as a circumhorizon arc, and a sun halo, when a circle of light forms around the sun, to be seen in the sky at the same time, according to the Aomori Meteorological Observatory.

The pair of optical delights emerged in the skies over Aomori, Hirosaki and elsewhere as a result of sunlight that was bent through ice crystals in thin clouds.

The observatory stressed the rarity of seeing a circumhorizon arc, which only occurs when the sun is high in the sky at an elevation of 58 degrees or greater above the horizon.