Pink Rainbow Over Marysville, Ohio

June 01, 2017

Pink_Rainbow_IMG_4962 (1)

Photographer: Raj Muddana
Summary Authors: Raj Muddana; Jim Foster

June 2017 Viewer's ChoiceI noticed this eye-catching pinkish rainbow as I was driving to work in western Ohio earlier this spring and pulled off the road to snap a photo. The camera is facing west. Since the bow is arching so high, it's evident that it was taken when the Sun was very low in the sky -- in this case, the eastern sky. The reason it looks pink is because the Sun is reddened when lying close to the horizon. The thicker atmosphere (greater path length) sunlight must pass through when it's very low in the sky effectively extinguishes the shorter wavelength colors (violets, blues and greens). Sunlight must pass through about 40 times as much atmosphere when the Sun is on the horizon compared to when it's overhead. So raindrops in between my camera and the antisolar point are being illuminated by the reddish Sun directly behind me. Therefore the rainbow takes on a pinkish hue. Note that a portion of the secondary bow can be detected near the ground at left. Photo taken on March 20, 2017, at 7:36 a.m.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: Apple; Camera Model: iPhone 6; Focal Length: 4.2mm (35mm equivalent: 29mm); Aperture: ƒ/2.2; Exposure Time: 0.0083 s (1/120); ISO equiv: 500.