Today’s awesome life experience is about moonbows! Did you ever have the awesome experience of seeing a “moonbow” at night?
What’s a moonbow?
A moonbow is like a day time rainbow, except it is formed not directly by the sun, but by the light of the moon… which is actually sunlight reflected off the moon – as you know.
I was living in Maui, Hawaii for a year and I was doing some late-night shopping at a supermarket in Kahana when I stepped outside and looked up at the full moon. I couldn’t believe what I saw within my field of view – and I had to ask other people around me to look up also. I was seeing what I thought was a night-time rainbow… a perfectly formed moonbow!
I wasn’t entirely sure that my senses weren’t lying to me until others also said they saw it. Then I thought, maybe we’re having a paranormal experience! Ha! Then I came back to reality and pulled out my camera but my poor camera wasn’t up to the task.
With my eyes I could clearly distinguish a full rainbow with colors, not near as bright as during the daytime, but there were definitely colors in the moonbow and stretching across the Maui sky. It was an awesome moment in my life and mostly because I didn’t even realize there was such a thing. It was very clear, and there must have been some fine mist high above us where it formed. It was barely sprinkling rain on us at the time.
Photos of moonbows and credits to photographers…
1st Moonbow by Jacob Sears who originally posted at this page.
This 2nd Moonbow below comes from the Astronomy Club of Asheville (astroasheville.org) originally posted here.
Pierre Lesage from Flickr posted this moonbow over Tahiti…
Pierre said of moonbows…
‘A moonbow is just like a rainbow except it is produced by a strong moonlight. The colors tend to be more faint because there is less light hitting the water droplets.
Moonbows are rare because moonlight is not very bright. A bright moon near to full is needed, it must be raining opposite the moon, the sky must be dark and the moon must be less than 42º high. Put all these together and you do not get to see a moonbow very often! To the unaided eye they usually appear, as in the thumbnail, without colour because their light is not bright enough to activate the cone colour receptors in our eyes. Nonetheless colours have been reported and might be seen when the moon is bright. ‘
Haikugarry from Flickr posted this amazing moonbow from Maui! I also clipped what he said about it… Awesome Garry… I wonder if you saw the one that I saw… Let’s see, it was year 2003…
Garry said, ‘During a bright enough moon we occasionally get a moonbow. I have only seen this 3 times in 10 years on maui, and for the first time i was prepared… and FINALLY have proof for all the disbelievers.’
Gary has some especially awesome photos. If you have time take a look at his Hawaii photos taken from a kite on Flickr.
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