Double Rainbow Above Athens

August 09, 2004


Provided by: Anthony Ayiomamitis
Summary authors & editors: Anthony Ayiomamitis

The above photo showing this jaunty double rainbow was taken on the eve of the Venus transit in early June. While preparing my telescope equipment for the transit event, I had to rush inside for about 30 minutes due to the sudden and turbulent passage of a weather front. Once the storm had passed and I returned to finish my preparation, I noticed two huge rainbows side-by-side. For a rainbow to be this high-arching, the Sun can only be a few degrees above the horizon, and of course, in the portion of the sky opposite of the bows. Rays of sunlight reflected a second time in raindrops are responsible for forming the secondary bow. Note that since this photo was captured near sunset, the bows are decidedly reddened. Hopefully, this rainbow is a positive forerunner for the start of the Olympic Games (XXVII Olympiad), which begins this week in Athens.

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