Meet the Moonbow, the Rainbow’s Goth Cousin

Meet the Moonbow, the Rainbow’s Goth Cousin

You’ve heard of the rainbow, a natural phenomenon that occurs when sunlight hits a water droplet just right, but have you ever heard of a moonbow?

A moonbow looks similar to a rainbow but is much rarer, and can I say cooler? It is when the moonlight hits water just right and creates a beautiful, colourful arc.

But the best thing about moonbows is they are much rarer because they have to appear in very specific conditions.

Another cool fact is that they’ve been mentioned for centuries with Moonbows first getting a shoutout back in 350 BC by Aristotle.

How can I see a moonbow?

According to Date and Time, four specific factors need to be fulfilled to see a moonbow.

Firstly, the moon has to be very low in the sky, apparently, the moon needs to be no more than 42 degrees from the horizon.

Secondly, the moon phase has to be a full moon or close to full. So that is only one or two days in a month.

Thirdly, the sky has to be very dark, so you will most likely not see a moonbow in any bright light, so don’t expect to see one in the city or your background, rats!

Lastly, and this is the most technical thing but water droplets have to be present in the air and in the direction of the moon.

So if these factors are fulfilled, expect to see a moonbow.

Image: iStock.

Where can I see a moonbow?

So if you can’t see a moonbow in the city where there is a bright light, the best chance is going bush and finding yourself a waterfall as long as there isn’t anything obstructing it from the sky.

Sadly, some of the best moonbows can be found overseas at Niagara Falls in the U.S. and Canada, and Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

If you want to get inspired by some cool rainbows in Australia though, check out this guide here.

Image: iStock

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