If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Friday, March 8, 2013

Lunar Double Rainbow!

Lunar Double Rainbow!

An astounding natural phenomenon that you have probably never seen before:  a double lunar rainbow, or moonbow, arcs over the Pacific Ocean in this photograph by Dr. Dale Cruikshank. This amazing panorama was taken from Kaanapali, Maui at 9:30 PM on Feb. 26, 2013.

Rainbows form when water droplets refract sunlight into its component colors. The same principle applies to lunar rainbows , but instead of using direct sunlight, moonbows form when reflected sunlight from the moon is refracted by atmospheric moisture.
A moonbow is also known as a lunar rainbow, white rainbow, lunar bow, or space rainbow.

Moonbows are relatively faint, due to the smaller amount of light reflected from the surface of the moon. They are always in the opposite part of the sky from the moon.

Because the light is usually too faint to excite the cone color receptors in human eyes, it is difficult for the human eye to discern colors in a moonbow. As a result, they often appear to be white. However, the colors in a moonbow do appear in long exposure photographs.


NASA/Dale Cruikshank
Soderman/NLSI Staff



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