Do you know what a lunar rainbow is? As you know, a rainbow can happen when sunlight meets moisture in the air and the moisture refracts, or changes the direction of the light, and the result is a rainbow. Did you know this event can happen at night? This is called a moonbow. Moonbows happen when moonlight meets moisture in the air, and the moisture refracts, or changes the direction of the light, resulting in a moonbow!
How do you see one? Well, moonbows are fairly rare. Why? Because lots of factors must be in place in order to have a chance of seeing one.
• The moon must be in full moon phase, or near brightest phase.
• The moon must be low, near the horizon (42°).
• There must be moisture in the air and the moisture must be opposite of the moon.
• The sky must be dark and without clouds that would block your view or the moon’s
light from reaching the moisture.
You might have the best chance of seeing a moonbow if you can be under these conditions and at a waterfall, because waterfalls provide a constant spray of mist. Just remember, moonbows are fairly rare, but they do occur regularly at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in Kentucky. You might be able to spot a moonbow near the waterfalls of Niagara Falls, New York and Yosemite National Park in California.
One last thing, some people refer to a moonbow as a lunar rainbow, white rainbow, lunar bow or a space rainbow! Those are a lot of cool names! Now that I have learned about moonbows I want to go explore!
PHOTO CREDIT: YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK