Rare Moonbow Spotted Over The Supermoon During The Vernal Equinox

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Andrew Hewinson from Cumbria, U.K., while taking his dog for a walk during the supermoon that took place at the night of the vernal equinox, spotted a rare phenomenon in the sky. He wanted to snap a picture of what was happening, so he rushed home to grab the camera then captured a moonbow.

What is a moonbow?

A moonbow is a lunar rainbow in its essence. As the Moon’s light backscattered by raindrops or water droplets, a rainbow is formed at night. Even though we call it a rainbow, it is not that easy to recognize this phenomenon.

The raindrop or water droplet is getting penetrated by the moonlight on a side, and it is refracted off that droplet or raindrop’s inside surface of the opposite side, so out of the small quantity of water, it exists back in the direction from where it came. After that, your camera or our eyes pick it up.

Usually, moonbows show up as white as you can see in the time-lapse above that was tweeted instead of a standard multi-color rainbow. It is not that easy to figure out when a moonbow happens.

The intensity of the light is what changes this

With that being said, the light of the Moon is not bright enough so when it is reflected the human eyes pick colors because in order for the color-sensing cone receptors to be stimulated it needs to be more intense, and enough light for colors to show up can’t bee gathered by a camera with an average shutter speed either.

However, sometimes, you can see some small bit of blue and red being teased out a moonbow. You can see this happening right below when long-exposure photography was used. This is such a rare rainbow because it can only form in certain conditions.


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