Everybody has seen rainbows — and perhaps even double rainbows. However have you ever seen a moonbow?

It’s a reasonably uncommon phenomenon that requires quite a lot of climate and astronomical circumstances to align completely. When these circumstances are good, you’ll see a white moonbow arcing throughout the evening sky.

There are solely a handful of locations world wide the place moonbows, generally referred to as lunar rainbows, happen commonly. Cumberland Falls State Resort Park in Kentucky isn’t solely a type of locations, it’s certainly one of solely two locations within the U.S. the place you may see a moonbow.

How Moonbows Are Shaped

A moonbow is shaped the identical approach rainbows are shaped. When mild shines on water droplets hanging within the air, mild passes via the droplet. The sunshine then bends, or “refracts,” displays off the again of the droplet, and exits the water droplet after refracting once more, a Farmer’s Almanac article explains.  

Within the case of a moonbow, the moon’s mild is refracted by water droplets hanging within the air. Moonbows are uncommon as a result of they require these hanging water droplets, a full or almost full moon low on the horizon, a transparent evening with few clouds, and really darkish skies.

Moonbows aren’t colourful like rainbows as a result of mild from the moon is nowhere as vivid as mild from the solar. Consequently, the colours of a moonbow are too weak “to be picked up by the color-detecting cells in our eyes,” the Farmer’s Almanac article notes. Which means we see a white moonbow as a result of when all of the seen colours mix, it creates what we see as white mild.

Moonbow at Cumberland Falls, Kentucky.
Patrick Jennings / Shutterstock.com

Cumberland Falls

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, close to Corbin, Kentucky, sits simply outdoors the Daniel Boone Nationwide Forest. Though the park is understood for its bird-watching and memorable climbing trails, close to the park’s waterfalls is among the two locations within the U.S. the place you may see a moonbow.

Because it’s simply outdoors a nationwide forest, the park is darkish at evening. Plus, the mist brought on by water plunging over the Cumberland Falls hangs within the air. Within the days earlier than, throughout, and after a full moon — if the sky is evident — you’ll see the moonbow.

To assist plan your go to, the park even publishes a calendar of when the moonbow will happen. You could find that calendar here.

Moonbow in Yosemite.
DTM Media / Shutterstock.com

By the best way, if you happen to’re questioning the place else moonbows commonly happen, it’s a brief record of places. They’re Yosemite Falls at Yosemite National Park in California, Victoria Falls in Africa, and within the cloud forests of Costa Rica

Know Earlier than You Go

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is open. Please observe that facemasks have to be worn in Kentucky State Parks whereas in indoor public locations in addition to outdoor when it’s not doable to keep up social distance from people who find themselves not a part of your group. Extra particulars will be discovered here.

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