Moonbow Over Chapel on the Rock, Colorado

January 01, 2019

PeterC_Moonlightbow__8501634-7 (1)

Photographer: Pete Claussen 
Summary Authors: Pete Claussen; Jim Foster

This alluring moonbow was observed from near Allenspark, Colorado, during the early morning hours of October 5, 2018. The camera is looking west, toward Mount Meeker. The Moon provided very little light since it was in a waning crescent phase, though obviously enough to produce a colorful bow -- given sufficient exposure.  I was unable to detect this rainbow with my own eyes, but the longer exposure I used to observe the night sky brought it out. Because the bow is low slung, the Moon was likely about 30 degrees or more above the horizon at the time the photo was captured.

Rain showers during the night had forced me to change locations, as I was hoping to find a hole through the clouds to view the stars. While here at St. Catherine of Siena Chapel (Chapel on the Rock), in the Camp St. Malo retreat, a rainstorm suddenly rolled down the side of Mount Meeker's towering 13,916 ft (4,242 m) peak. Concurrently, a crescent Moon peeked through the cloud deck over the Front Range (behind me, to the east), setting the stage for this low bow to form.

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON D850; Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic 7.5 (Windows); Exposure Time: 30.000s; Aperture: ƒ/2.8; ISO equivalent: 6400; Focal Length (35mm): 24; taken approximately 3:00 a.m.