The recent super moon came with quite the surprise, as some people were treated to a unique sight. A rare type of rainbow lit up the night sky during the equinox super moon.
During the recent equinox super moon, Andrew Hewison of Cumbria in the United Kingdom was walking his dog when he spotted a rare sight in the night sky. He rushed home to get his camera and snapped a photo of a rare type of rainbow called a “moonbow.” Basically, what he saw is the type of rainbow that can be seen at night, thanks to the light coming from the moon.
Typically, moonbows turn up white instead of multi-colored like the regular rainbows because the light from the moon is not often bright enough for humans' eyes to be able to see the colors, and neither can cameras with normal shutter speeds capture them. However, fortunately for Hewison, the evening came with the super moon, which means that the light coming from the moon was even brighter than the normal full moon.
And while the super moon was not as close to the Earth as some of the other super moons, it was clearly close enough and its light bright enough for Hewison to capture the rare sight and share it with the world even if he used a regular camera.
Taken Last night , didn’t know there was such a thing #MoonBow #Cumbria @NorthPennAONB @PaulKingstonITV pic.twitter.com/zcsLjRmfN7 — Andrew Hewison (@AndrewHewison2) March 21, 2019
What Is A Moonbow?
As mentioned, moonbows are rare rainbows that can be seen at night. The mechanism for how moonbows appear is similar to how rainbows appear, except the light comes from the moon instead of directly from the sun.
For a moonbow to appear, the night has to be very dark and away from sources of light pollution, and it has to be a full moon or a day before or after it, so that its light is at its most intense.
It is for this reason that moonbows are so rare, because a person needs to be at exactly the right place to be able to see it.