Multiple Alaskan Rainbows

February 03, 2015


Photographer: Kevin Nolen
Summary Authors: Kevin Nolen; Jim Foster February 2015 Viewer's Choice
In order to see a set of rainbows such as shown above, you have to be in proximity of a smooth lake, river or some other body of water. This photo was captured a short distance from the Knik River, just south of Wasilla, Alaska. The upright bow to the right of the bright primary rainbow (furthest left), results from reflection of sunlight off the Knik River. Like the primary bow, red is on the outside. If you look closely you can even see a very faint 4th rainbow, at far right above the light pole. This is the secondary rainbow of the reflection bow. This bow and the brighter bow to its left, the secondary bow of the primary rainbow, result from a second reflection in raindrops. Red is on the inside of these two bows. Note that the primary rainbow and the reflection rainbow have different antisolar points; the antisolar point for the reflection bow is above that of the primary bow. Immediately below the primary bow at far left is a set of supernumerary bows. Photo taken in the late afternoon of August 21, 2014.

Photo details: Camera Model: SAMSUNG-SGH-I337; Focal Length: 4.2mm (35mm equivalent: 31mm); Aperture: ƒ/2.2; Exposure Time: 0.0042 s (1/240); ISO equiv: 50.