There is (literally) more to
this odd looking bow than meets the eye.
It was taken by Günther
Konnen on the Dutch island of Terschelling late
on the afternoon of November 18, ’05. The sun was only
What is the apparently discontinuous and almost vertical bow,
part of which even curves inwards to the left? The upper part
is a reflection bow. Sunlight was reflecting off a small lake
about 200m across and 1100m from the camera. The upward going
reflected rays, as though from a sun shining 4° below the
horizon, formed the tall bow.
The lower stubby fragment is the normal primary bow.
The remainder of the primary is not visible because a cloud
had blocked the direct sunlight from shining on the raindrops
in front of the camera. “Just
before this picture was taken, I saw the reflection bow and
the normal rainbow together. By the time I had got my camera,
the normal rainbow was gone. A cloud had blocked the direct
sunlight to the rain shower. The reflection of the sun was
still illuminating the raindrops via a path under the cloud.
To the right is a faint secondary fragment and perhaps a hint
of the secondary reflection bow.
More reflection bows 1,2,3,4.
©Günther Konnen, shown with permission.