Moonbow: A rare lunar rainbow

Moonbow over North Yorkshire
Photo: Ben Gwynne

A photographer captured this photo of a rare lunar rainbow or ‘moonbow’ illuminating the night sky in North Yorkshire, U.K.

While not as spectacular as its daytime cousin the rainbow, a moonbow is produced when moonlight refracts through water droplets in the air. Moonbows are rarer than rainbows because a variety of weather and astronomical conditions have to be just right for them to be created. They are much fainter than rainbows, due to the smaller amount of light reflected from the surface of the moon.