Double Rainbow Above Dayton

March 10, 2005

Double_rainbowa copy

Provided and copyright by: John Chumack, Miami Valley Astronomical Society
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; John Chumack

I had just come around a bend in the road when, suddenly, this colorful double rainbow confronted me -- the brightest and most impressive I've ever seen. It captivated everyone who was driving towards it on this mid-summer's late afternoon, outside Dayton, Ohio. A secondary rainbow (uppermost bow) is created when the Sun's light is twice reflected in raindrops, and the rays exit the drops at an angle of 51 degrees. For the primary rainbow, sunlight emerges after a single reflection at an angle of 42 degrees. The bows and surrounding sky were so stunning that I decided to pull my truck off the side of the roadway and take a picture. A Nikon Coolpix 995 was used -- two photos were stitched together to capture the full panoramic view.

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