Fallon, Nevada Fogbow

February 27, 2007


Provided and copyright by: Judy A Mosby
Summary authors & editors: Judy A Mosby

As I traveled south on highway 95, in northern Nevada, on the morning of November 4, 2006, a thick ground fog carpeted the valley floor. Just out of Fallon, Nevada, the Sun appeared and produced this most beautiful fogbow. It accompanied me for several miles -- an intriguing, ghostly white against the blue sky and rich colors of the fall foliage.

Unlike rainbows, which form from refraction and reflection in raindrops, fogbows form in much smaller droplets (perhaps 1/10 the size of drops generating rainbows). In the case of fogbows, sunlight is deflected (diffraction process) rather than refracted. Wave interference increases as drops become smaller, and thus rays of different wavelengths (colors) overlap. This results in bows having little or no color.

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