Though it’s pretty difficult to actually see one, 360-degree rainbows are not actually rare. In its total form, a rainbow truly never ends. Our ground-based vantage prevents us from seeing the full, colorful circle of refracted light. But when you’re high enough in the sky, and when the light is just right, a full rainbow is a sight to behold.
This stunning photograph was taken in Australia in 2013, and shared by NASA, which writes that “the 84-degree diameter rainbow followed the helicopter, intact, for about 5 kilometers [3 miles].” This is the only still photograph of a full rainbow that we’re aware of (and it’s a double rainbow, to boot!). Others have captured portions of a 360-degree rainbow, but not the whole thing.