Archive - Hawaiian Rainbow

August 16, 2020


Each Sunday we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published August 16, 2003.

Provided and copyright by: John Sperduto
Summary author: John Sperduto

While walking west along Sunset Beach on Oahu, Hawaii, I encountered a brief rain shower about an hour before sunset. After it passed, the Sun came out, and as I turned to see if a rainbow was present, this exquisite bow greeted me -- the biggest rainbow I've ever seen. A second rainbow is also visible (top left). This secondary rainbow 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, the light emerges at an angle of 42 degrees. Note that with the secondary rainbow, the red band is on the inside, the reverse of the primary bow.

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