Rainbow on the Horizon

Another unusual picture; this time of a rainbow on the horizon of Lake Michigan.  Has anyone ever see one like this before?  I’ve seen plenty of rainbows but none like this.  Thanks, Space Weather!


Text from www.spaceweather.com

LOW RAINBOW: “I’ve never seen a rainbow like this before,” reports Ben Dickmann of Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. “An afternoon thunderstorm had just passed through on July 5th” when this giant rainbow-colored fringe rose out of Lake Michigan.

“In the photo, the sun is high and behind my back,” adds Dickmann. And that is the key–a high sun.

Atmospheric optics expert Les Cowley explains: “The top of this rainbow is almost level with the horizon because the sun was high in the sky. Rainbows are always centered on the point directly opposite the sun. As the sun sets the top of the rainbow rises.”

A special altitude, he says, is 42o. That’s the height of the sun for which a rainbow’s top is perfectly level with the horizon. The sun behind Dickmann’s back had just sank below 42o degrees, causing the rainbow to pop up out of the waves.

This entry was posted in Astronomy, Weather and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s