Flat Double Rainbow over Paris, France

June 22, 2023



Photographer: Bertrand Kulik  

Summary Authors: Bertrand Kulik; Jim Foster

On the afternoon of March 24, 2023, when the sun was high in the sky during the early afternoon (3:27 p.m. local time), I observed this flat rainbow over Paris. Contrasts were superb and the light was amazing. The top photo shows both a primary and secondary rainbow, while the bottom photo shows a much more subtle bow above les Invalides and the Sacré Coeur. Though we're all familiar with the attention-getting high arching bows seen on occasion after a late day rain shower in spring or summer, rainbows are much flatter when the Sun is high in the sky. In fact, raindrop optics dictate that they won't be seen at all once the Sun attains an elevation of about 43 degrees above the horizon. Note that the radius of a rainbow is ~42.5 degrees.

Photo details:

Top - Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera; EF 50mm; f/1.8; STM ƒ/13.0; 50.0 mm; 1/800 second exposure; ISO 100. 

Bottom - Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera; EF100-400mm; f/4.5-5.6L; IS II USM ƒ/13.0; 263.0 mm; 1/500 second exposure; ISO 100.


Paris, France Coordinates: 48.855, 2.3125

Related Links:

Bertrand Kulik

Lovely Low Bow Above Paris

Bertrand's Website