MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: why was there a rainbow around the moon?

Date: Tue Feb 19 06:22:44 2002
Posted By: Chris Lintott, Undergraduate, Physics
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 1012420409.As

First of all, you're lucky to have seen this! The answer is that the 
Moonbow is caused by exactly the same mechanism as a normal rainbow; light 
passing through water droplets is split into its constitent colours which 
is what we see as a rainbow.

The only difference is that here the light is from the Moon rather than 
the Sun. We see the whole circle however unlike the Sun where the horizon 
gets in the way. 

Normally moonbows appear white, because the light is fainter and the eye 
isn't very good at picking out colour in low light. When conditions are 
perfect, however, you can just get lucky!

Current Queue | Current Queue for Astronomy | Astronomy archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Astronomy.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2002. All rights reserved.