1 EAGLETON NOTES: Vertical Rainbows

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Monday, 25 June 2012

Vertical Rainbows

When, at nearly 10pm one evening when he was visiting last weekend, David called me very enthusiastically to drop whatever I was doing and bring my camera outside, I was met with one of the most spectacular skies I've ever seen outside of the aurora borealis (which used to seem quite frequent here but which I haven't seen for many years).

I am not aware of ever before having seen a vertical rainbow nor, for that matter, a sunset rainbow either.  The latter explains the former.

The following is from the Photocentric.net  page on photographing rainbows.

Sunset rainbows are special [because] the sun's rays are nearly horizontal, so the top of the rainbow will be high in the sky. In fact, a sunset rainbow is the widest arc you'll ever see from the ground: almost half of the full-circle rainbow can become visible....... Sometimes only the end segment of the rainbow appears, and if you see a photo of a vertical rainbow at the horizon, you'll know it was made at sunset (or sunrise). With a little geometry work and a sun angle chart, you can tell time using a rainbow at the horizon.

As we watched the light changed altering the colours of the clouds and the rainbows and the rainbows changed composition too.







26 comments:

  1. That was indeed worth dropping everything for!

    I have never seen aurea borealis; I have probably never been enough far up North for that, but I imagine it is quite an experience.

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    1. The aurora borealis is one of those experiences you never forget. No pictures or films ever prepare you for the real experience.

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  2. WOw, I have never seen anything like that before! Thanks for sharing.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and hope you will enjoy the wildlife in HK on your next visit.

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    1. I suspect that no one who lives in a city, particularly one with buildings as high and dense as those in HK, will ever see such a rainbow.

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  3. How fascinating. I don't think I've ever seen a vertical rainbow before. Truly, nature is phenomenal, isn't it? Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It truly is Carol. They are pretty rare I believe.

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  4. Very nice! I always feel like I've been given a gift when I see a rainbow. It's like a reminder of how small we are, and how huge nature is.

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  5. Spectacular. Looks like it's falling down from the sky into the sea! And I'm not sure I've ever seen a rainbow reflected in the water (sea) like that either

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    1. No. That was a point that David made Monica and we've both lived by the sea for a large part of our lives.

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  6. The things you'd miss if you didn't have a smoker visiting. And no, I don't mean the midges in the kitchen.

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    1. Too true, my friend. And a great many things besides.

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  7. How extraordinary. How fantastic that you had your camera and were able to get such good pictures. I have only seen the aurora borealis once, and that was from a plane. A strange experience, and the lights were quite bright. I suspect that it would be even more spectacular from the ground, because you'd get a wider view than the rather restricted view from a plane window.

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    1. When I've seen it (from the ground) it really takes your breath away. The colours and the shimmering movement are almost surreal.

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  8. Wonderful. And weird. It looked quite odd. Lovely clear shots Geeb.

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    1. Thanks Katherine. Looking back I think the dark sky was a significant contributor to the dramatic effect.

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  9. With that reflection it is now clear to me what can be found at the end of the rainbow - your Hebridean Hoose! *(with you and David in it of course)
    Yx

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  10. wow, spectacular shots! I thought a similar thing as Monica. But I was thinking that it looked like it was raining down. Oh, how fortunate you are to live there.

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    1. I am, as you say Norma, very fortunate indeed and I try never to forget that.

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  11. These, very much, remind me of prism rainbows :) Nice!!

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    1. Yes, Heather, the very same.

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  12. I've never seen a rainbow like that before - or one reflected in the sea. A real double whammy of a shot, Graham.

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    1. The reflection in the sea was a first for me too Pauline.

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