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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Missing rainbows

Today I found myself missing rainbows.  During the winter, Bodega Head is usually an excellent place to see these beautiful optical displays.  However, with the lack of precipitation this winter, a lack of rainbows has followed.

Here are two photos, the first from 13 February 2009 and the second from 30 March 2010.  One was taken in the morning and the other in the afternoon.  Can you guess which is which?

The first photo was taken in the morning (rainbow over the ocean to the west, sun behind to the east) and the second was taken in the afternoon (rainbow to the east, sun to the west).

Note that most primary rainbows show Newton's color spectrum from top to bottom: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet (you may have memorized this sequence as ROYGBIV).

Supernumerary rainbows don't follow this sequence.  They are color bands inside the arc of the primary rainbow, often in a paler green or purple.  You can see a few below the Violet band in the dune rainbow (above) or in this close-up of the same rainbow.

There's still a lot of winter left, so cross your fingers for a few rainbow days!


Anonymous said...

i love the dune rainbow !! c

Romie said...

The dune rainbow would make for easy digging for the pot of gold! It's rare that I see a full bow across the sky. Beautiful!!