AN AIRCRAFT spotted a natural phenomenon while out flying yesterday.

One of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) North East planes was heading back through showers to its base in Doncaster when the pilot spotted a full circle rainbow.

NPAS North East shared photos of the spectacle on Twitter.

The post said: "Some fine full circle rainbows this afternoon as the aircraft made its way back through the showers to Doncaster."

People viewing rainbows from the ground only ever see half of the full optical illusion that is created by raindrops reflecting light.

You are probably well aware of the famous idiom that, if you reach the end of a rainbow's arc, you will find a pot of gold.

The reality is, all rainbows are actually full circles and they are personal to each viewer.

National Geographic states on its website: "The antisolar point is the center of the circle.

"Viewers in aircraft can sometimes see these circular rainbows.

"Viewers on the ground can only see the light reflected by raindrops above the horizon.

"Because each person's horizon is a little different, no one actually sees a full rainbow from the ground.

"In fact, no one sees the same rainbow—each person has a different antisolar point, each person has a different horizon.

"Someone who appears below or near the 'end' of a rainbow to one viewer will see another rainbow, extending from his or her own horizon."