Rare Rainbows in the Dark [24 PICS]

August 1st, 2011 Permalink

Rare rainbows in the dark of night, midnight moonbows, are an amazing natural phenomena. A rainbow in the moonlight is several hundred thousand times less bright than a rainbow during the day. A true lunar rainbow is lit by the moon itself. To the naked eye, they can appear white and are also called “white rainbows.” There are a few places in the world where “spray moonbows” are so-called “frequent phenomena” such as near waterfalls in Yosemite National Park, Cumberland Falls in Kentucky, and Victoria Falls in Australia. Here is a collection of these wonderful lunar rainbows and well as a few other natural phenomena that appear a bit like rainbows in the dark. [24 Photos]

Upper Yosemite Falls Moonbow

Upper Yosemite Falls Moonbow. Rainbows in the dark have been delighting the few who are fortunate enough to witness the phenomenon since Aristotle’s time. Photo #1 by Teddy Llovet

Lunar rainbow, moonbow formed over Fraser Island

Just after 1am, this moonbow formed over Fraser Island. Photo #2 by Garry – www.visionandimagination.com


Moonrainbow over Easter Island

This spectacular picture from Easter Island shows the Milky Way, the Magellanic clouds, and a Moonbow. Photo #3 by Phil Plait

Moonbow and starry night

Moonbow and starry night. According to Wikipedia, “Moonbows are most easily viewed when the moon is near to full (when it is brightest). For true moonbows, other than those produced by waterfalls or sprays, the moon must be low in the sky (less than 42 degrees and preferably lower) and the sky must be dark. And of course there must be rain falling opposite the moon. This combination of requirements makes moonbows much more rare than rainbows produced by the sun.” Photo #4 by Thoth, God of Knowledge

The Yosemite Falls Moonbow

The Yosemite Falls Moonbow. Photo #5 by Joe Dsilva

Rainbow 'Round the Moon

Rainbow ‘Round the Moon: a rainbow made exclusively with the light of the full moon. Notice the star trails. Made at Cumberland Falls in southern Kentucky. Photo #6 by Jim code poet

Moonbow at lower Yosemite fall

The spray from lower Yosemite waterfall created this moonbow. Photo #7 by Mila Zinkova

Lunar rainbow over Victoria Falls

Lunar rainbow over Victoria Falls. Photo #8 by gman1981

Lunar Rainbow at Lower Yosemite Falls

Lunar Rainbow at Lower Yosemite Falls. Photo #9 by Sathish J

Moonbow - Cumberland Falls, KY

Moonbow – Cumberland Falls, KY. The colors that make up a lunar rainbow are too faint to excite the color sensors in our eyes. White rainbows are closer to what the unaided eye can see and those murky shades of gray from a black and white rainbow. Photo #10 by Daveblog

Nearly full moon creates a lunar rainbow on Upper Yosemite Falls at about 1AM

Nearly full moon creates a lunar rainbow on Upper Yosemite Falls at about 1AM. Photo #11 by Brian Hawkins

Moonbow over Lower Yosemite Falls

Moonbow over Lower Yosemite Falls. Photo #12 by Dancingmonkey.org

Yosemite Falls Moonbow

Yosemite Falls Moonbow. Photo #13 by Sathish J

stormy night rainbow in the waves

While not a traditional lunar rainbow, on this stormy night, a rainbow seems to form in the waves. Photo #14 by Mila Zinkova

Moonbow

Moonbow? A true lunar rainbow is in a bow-shape like a traditional rainbow, but whatever this is . . . it is showing off rainbow colors in the dark. Photo #15 by Chris Gladis

Lunar iridescence in altocumulus

Lunar iridescence in altocumulus. Photo #16 by Lance Andrewes

Lunar Flare

Lunar Flare. Photo #17 by ~dgies

White Rainbow, a moonbow

White Rainbow, a moonbow. Photo #18 by Dumgoyach

Awesome moonbow over Australia

The photographer called this an “awesome moonbow over Australia.” Photo #19 by Rowen Atkinson

Scorpius in Moon halo

The photographer called this “Scorpius in Moon halo.” It is probably a moon ring. Wikipedia defines a “moon ring, also known as a winter halo, as a phenomenon that usually appears in conjunction with a full moon.” Photo #20 by Mike White

22° halo of the moon was observed in Salvador Bahia Brazil for about 10 minutes

22° halo of the moon was observed in Salvador Bahia Brazil for about 10 minutes. Photo #21 by Luzinho

blue stone and white rainbow

Okay, so not a real moonbow. The photographer noted, “Oopps, I happen to hit the ‘night’ button on my keyboard……amazing what we can do in our computers these days. :-)).” Photo #22 by Per Ola Wiberg

lunar corona

This is a lunar corona. Photo #23 by normalityrelief

Lunar Rainbow taken from the Zambia side of Victoria Falls. The constellation Orion is visible behind the top of the moonbow

Lunar Rainbow taken from the Zambia side of Victoria Falls. The constellation Orion is visible behind the top of the moonbow. Photo #24 by Calvin Bradshaw


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