Encore - Rainbow Fragments on Spider Webs

September 28, 2019

Rainbow web

January 2014 Viewer's ChoiceToday and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.

Photographer: Nancy Calltharp
Summary Authors: Nancy Calltharp; Jim Foster

The entangled pearl necklaces pictured above are actually droplets of dew on a spider web. The subtle colors displayed here resulted when sunlight illuminated the web, creating a multitude of rainbow fragments. Note that, in general, the smaller dew drops, residing on the thinnest silk strands, are nearly colorless. With these smaller drop sizes, wave interference acts to diminish coloration because colors tend to overlap one another. Photo taken at Squaw Creek near my home in Mound City, Missouri, on September 21, 2013.

Photo Details: Camera: SONY DSC-HX300; Lens: 4.3-215mm f/2.8-6.3; Focal Length: 214.7mm; Aperture: f/6.3; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 80.