Pink Rainbow Observed near Mortagne-sur-Sèvre, France

October 03, 2023


Photographer: Eddy Rivière   

Summary Authors: Eddy Rivière; Jim Foster

While I was photographing a storm at dawn one morning this past summer, a magnificent pink rainbow (and secondary rainbow) appeared in the western sky not far from Mortagne-sur-Sèvre, France. This pink bow was very discreet but only visible for 1 or 2 minutes.

Not unlike the color of the rising Sun, rainbows acquire pink or red colors as the Sun approaches the horizon. The increased pathlength sunlight must travel when the Sun is low in the sky acts to scatter out the shorter wavelength colors (greens, blues, violets), so only the longer wavelength colors (oranges and reds) remain. Additionally, dust in the atmosphere, as was present in western France in early August, can further extinguish the shorter wavelength colors. As a landscape photographer, I had never before observed such a rainbow. Photo taken on August 10, 2023.


Mortagne-sur-Sèvre, France Coordinates: 46.9925, -0.9525

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