Costa Rica Low Bow

May 09, 2008

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Provided by: Marissa Jones
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster, Marissa Jones 

The colorful stripes in the hills shown above aren't a unique landform feature but rather a "lazy" rainbow. It was captured following early afternoon showers one day in early January of 2008 near the Poas Volcano, in Costa Rica's Alajuela region. Rainbows are essentially circles with a radius of about 42º centered at the antisolar point, a point directly opposite the Sun. In this case, the center of the bow was well out of view, with only the top of the arch peeking over the horizon. Rainbows aren't high in the sky until the Sun dips low in the sky. See also the Earth Science Picture of the Day for July 11, 2003