Circumhorizontal arcs, or 'Fire Rainbows' dot the sky over New Jersey beaches

Circumhorizontal arc, or fire rainbow, captured at Avalon, New Jersey. (Alissa Frick)

Circumhorizontal arcs were captured in the sky at several New Jersey beach communities Sunday.

Circumhorizontal arcs, or "Fire Rainbows" were sighted Sunday in Avalon and Ventnor in New Jersey. A circumhorizontal arc is an optical phenomenon that belongs to the family of ice halos.

Circumhorizontal arc over New Jersey shore Sunday.

Circumhorizontal arc over New Jersey shore Sunday. (Aaron Inver)

It is formed by refraction of the sun in ice crystals, typically in cirrus clouds. The clouds, in a horizontal direction, and the ice crystals within them are a particular shape. The crystals almost act like a prism and reflect the light in such a way that is seen as a horizontal rainbow.

It should be noted that circumhorizontal arcs, or "Fire Rainbows," have nothing to do with fire or rainbows.