A rare sighting of 5+ rainbows by Anne Connolly at Loch Rannoch, Scotland on 21st September '10. The Scottish Saltire like cross is composed of an ‘ordinary’ primary rainbow plus three extras fashioned by one or two reflections from the loch. Beyond them to the right are hints of an encore by the secondary bow.   ©Anne Connolly, shown with permission.
Sun rays, raindrop spheres opposite the sun, a mirror smooth loch and light several times reflected are the ingredients of this sighting.

   In her devices
   a straight line
   and a yawning sphere
   dance out and in
   ad infinitum.    Anne Connolly

Light reflected just once inside the raindrops forms the primary bow. Sunlight first reflected by the loch gives the extra bow curving outwards. The loch reflection in effect forms a second sun shining upwards and giving another primary around a new centre, the anthelic point.

The lower bows are not simple reflections of those in the sky for rainbows are not corporeal objects that can be mirrored unless for our own mental convenience we consider them as out at infinity. One bow is from light that has already been through raindrops and then reflected upwards by the loch. Rays forming the second ‘reflected-reflection’ bow had a tortuous journey reflected first by the loch, reflected inside the raindrops and reflected yet again by the loch.

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