Weather Network – Rare moonbow ushers in the spring of Equinox Super Moon


Friday, March 22, 2019, 20:38 – What is "moonbow"?

Andrew Hewison of Cumbria in the United Kingdom watched a rare occurrence in the sky.

After the birth of his home to grab the camera, he photographed and captured a picture of this phenomenon moonbow.


Moonbow is, essentialy, the rainbow rainbow – a rainbow that we see at night, as the light from the moon sprawls through drops of water or rain drops.

The moisture essentially enters one side of the water drop or rain drop, breaks from the inner surface of the opposite side of the droplet or rain drop, leaving the droplet or rain drop back in the direction from where it came from, and then collected by our eyes (or camera).

As can be seen from the time lag that was published above, the moon walls are usually shown as white and not as a standard multi-colored rainbow.

The reason for this is the intensity of light.

In fact, the light reflecting from the moon is usually not bright enough for the human eye to pick up the color (it needs to be more intense to stimulate the color sensing receptors), and the camera with a normal shutter speed does not collect enough light to show colors .

Some small particles of red and blue can sometimes be pulled out of the moon, but with a long exposure photo as shown below:

1200px-Moonbow, Kula, Hawaii-Arne-KaiserMoonbow over Kula, Hawaii. Source: Arne Kaiser, CC BY-SA 4.0

Rare crochet

Months are much rarer than ordinary rainbow.

To see sunlight, you need to have the following combination:

  • Source of water drops or rain drops,
  • A clear path by which light reaches these drops or rain drops,
  • Since the light is turned back, the viewer must look away from the light source and
  • It is important as light entering water droplets or droplets, with a maximum of 42 °, therefore the light source must be fairly low in the sky.

To see the moon, you need not only the same conditions as above (Sun change for the moon), but two more preconditions must be met:

  • This must be the night of the full moon (or night or two before or after a full moon), so that the moon is at or near the maximum intensity, and
  • The night must be very dark, otherwise it gives the greatest contrast between the moonlight and the night sky. Thus, the viewer must be far from the main sources of light pollution, such as large cities.

So, while you can have a rainbow on almost every day of the year when it's warm enough to have drops of running water and rain drops, you're much more limited to what nights in each month can get to the moon, and you have to be right to see it.


Moonbow-CumbriaUK-Andrew-Hewison-brighter level This version of Hewison's photo was highlighted using Photoshop to better reveal the colors he captured. Credit: Andrew Hewison / Scott Sutherland

The reason that the picture of Andrewa Hewison actually shows the colors (shown improved, above), although she did not think it was a very long picture, is the result of the ideal conditions that he had. It was a very dark night in Cumbria, at night full of moons, but it was also a "supermoon".

It is very difficult to notice the difference in size between the "normal" full moon and the "super" full moon. But with the Moon closer to the Earth, the light that is reflected from its surface is noticeably lighter and more intense.

That's how the Equinox Super Moon light on Wednesday night – though it was not the closest full moon of the year – is bright enough to make the camera bright enough to get more colors than usual.

Did you see the Equinox Super Moon? Have you seen the moon with or without color? Please let us know in the comments below!

Source: BBC


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