Double Rainbow Near Silver Creek, Colorado

January 01, 2010

Silvercreek rainbow

Photographer: Jay Brazel
Summary Author: Jay Brazel; Jim Foster

The majestic double rainbow featured above brightens the prairie landscape near Silver Creek, Colorado on a late summer’s day. After the passage of an afternoon thundershower, the Sun broke through the parting clouds and pierced the raindrops to create this breathtaking rainbow spectacle. A single reflection of sunlight in a raindrop produces a primary rainbow. A second reflection forms the secondary rainbow. This dimmer arc (only about 43 percent as bright as the main bow) has colors in reverse order from that of the primary bow.  Alexander's dark band is sandwiched between the two rainbows. This darkened swatch of sky is caused by weakly scattered sunlight. Note the supernumerary bows just beneath the violet color in the primary bow. These somewhat inconspicuous bows result from diffraction of sunlight, rather than from refraction and reflection, in very small and similarly sized raindrops. Photo taken on September 9, 2009, just before 4:00 p.m. (Mountain Daylight Time).

Coordinates for Silver Creek Colorado:  40.0399862, -105.9041801

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