Rare Moonbow Photographed In Japan
January 13, 2012 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
TOKYO, Jan. 12 (UPI) — A rare nighttime lunar rainbow over Japan’s southernmost islands was captured by a meteorological observatory camera, scientists said.
In the rare phenomenon, a ghostly multicolored arc is created by light reflected off the surface of the moon and always appears in the opposite part of the sky from the moon, experts said.
Small water droplets in Earth’s atmosphere refract the light from the moon, creating the lunar rainbow, also knows as a moonbow.
The moonbow was observed by the Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory on Ishigakijima Island in Okinawa Prefecture, The Asahi Shimbun reported Thursday.
Moonbows occur with a combination of very dark skies, just before or after a full moon when it is brightest, and rain falling opposite the moon, scientists said.
While moonbows are often so faint they appear white to the human eye, the observatory’s camera was able to capture the multiple colors in it, they said.