Photography : Land & Sky : Light Fantastic

The Southwest gets its rain all in a few months, what is locally called "monsoon season". These are some spectacular storms, which sometimes produce even more spectacular rainbows! The strongest rainbows are seen when the light source is almost directly behind the observer, and this beauty was snapped very close to sunset. I have never seen such intense, doubled rainbows until I came to New Mexico. I've even seen supernumeraries! Check out the highly-contrasted picture below! The main arcs of a rainbow can be accurately described by geometric optics. The bands of purple and green that are supernumeraries can only be explained by invoking the wave-like nature of light, meaning how light waves can interfere with each other, sometimes adding together and sometimes canceling out each other. I highly suggest checking out the Atmosphere Optics site for examples of the amazing things our atmosphere does (aside from allowing us to breathe).


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