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Thread: Rainbow sightings

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    Best Ever Pool Runner Angry Birds Champion pikachu's Avatar
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    Rainbow sightings

    I just saw a rainbow last night when I went out to get something for supper and it made me so happy! The last time I remember seeing a rainbow was when my parents still lived in town. That was over 5 years ago. Seeing this one made me remember previous rainbows I've seen. What are some of your most memorable rainbow sightings?

    One time while heading to the Florida Keys for our annual family vacation, we saw a rainbow in the Homestead area. A field was being watered and the sprinkler created a rainbow so vivid, I felt like I could have gotten out of the car and leaned on it like a wall.

    Another time, my mom, sister and I saw a triple rainbow! We were at the beach admiring a brilliant rainbow that had faint rainbow over it and while looking at it, we noticed a third rainbow, barely visible, over those two.

    I've also had the unique experience of driving through a rainbow on the interstate. One morning our family was in the car and we could see a rainbow pretty nearby. It got larger and larger as we approached and I thought once we got to it, the illusion would shatter and it would disappear, but it didn't. For a few minutes, the interior of the car was lit up with the colors and I even had rainbow patterns on my arms when I looked down at them.

    I never seem to have a camera with me when I see a rainbow because the sightings are so few and far between. It's too bad because I wish I had a picture of the triple rainbow on the beach. It was really cool!
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    Best Ever Pool Runner Angry Birds Champion pikachu's Avatar
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    Re: Rainbow sightings

    I saw an inverted rainbow when I went on my afternoon break today. I didn't have my camera with me so I looked up pictures online and found one similar to what I saw.



    I also found out that they're called a circumzenithal arc and they're rarely noticed. I was lucky I went to break when I did because I was going to take another look before going back to my desk and when I got back to where I had seen it, I couldn't see it anymore.

    Haha, the last time I reported seeing a rainbow was also in March--three years ago!
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    Re: Rainbow sightings

    Rainbows make me happy, too! We have a lake view home so we see them quite often but before moving here my most memorable one occurred just before I went into labor for my first born. It felt like a sign.

    My husband's most memorable rainbow is still up for debate. He swears that he drove through a rainbow on the lake road.
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    Best Ever Pool Runner Angry Birds Champion pikachu's Avatar
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    Re: Rainbow sightings

    Yep, I've driven through a rainbow, too, so I know it's possible!

    One of the interesting things I learned while looking up the rainbow I saw yesterday is that it's possible for an object's shadow to have a rainbow form around it, including a person. It's called a Brocken spectre. This is from Wikipedia:

    A Brocken spectre (German Brockengespenst), also called Brocken bow or mountain spectre, is the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer, cast upon the upper surfaces of clouds opposite the sun. The phenomenon can appear on any misty mountainside or cloud bank, even when seen from an aeroplane, but the frequent fogs and low-altitude accessibility of the Brocken, a peak in the Harz Mountains in Germany, have created a local legend from which the phenomenon draws its name. The "spectre" appears when the sun shines from behind the observer, who is looking down from a ridge or peak into mist or fog. The light projects their shadow through the mist, often in a triangular shape due to perspective.


    There's also a circumhorizontal arc, which is a cirrus or cirrostratus cloud that refracts a rainbow, also called a "fire rainbow".



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    Re: Rainbow sightings

    I was driving down I-5 in Oregon today an hour before sunset in the driving rain and the sun shot through a clear space in the clouds. To the east was a bright, gigantic rainbow with a gray landscape behind it. It made me pretty happy. I see double rainbows every so often and they are amazing, but this bold and bright rainbow was magnificient!

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    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Rainbow sightings

    We don't get a lot of rainbows here (or I'm not outside often enough at the right time to see them) but I remember one time when I was raising my kids and there was a row of houses with similar stay-at-home moms. We saw a huge rainbow and called the next house down the road about it and told them to pass it on. That remained one of our favorite memories - the phone tag team rainbow alert.
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    Best Ever Pool Runner Angry Birds Champion pikachu's Avatar
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    Re: Rainbow sightings

    I saw a circumhorizontal arc when I was on vacation at my dad's house. My stepmother and I went to the beach one day and I happened to see it so I pointed it out to her. Only a few minutes later, a cloud bank passed in front of it and we didn't see it again so I was incredibly lucky to spot during the limited time it was visible.

    I'm getting to be quite the rainbow expert!
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    Re: Rainbow sightings

    Looks like I picked a good time to revitalize this thread recently! There was a sighting of a rare quadruple rainbow in New York yesterday.

    I just read that an expert said technically, it's not a quadrupal rainbow, where there are four distinct rainbows. Rather, it's a set of reflection rainbows, where light going through a double rainbow reflects a second, more faded rainbow behind it. Still, it's also rare, just not as rare as a real quadruple rainbow.

    Last edited by pikachu; 04-22-2015 at 10:26 AM.
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    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Rainbow sightings

    Whoa! I've never even HEARD of such a thing, let alone SEEN one! Thanks for sharing that!
    Count your blessings!

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    addicted to reality AmyKay's Avatar
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    Re: Rainbow sightings

    Thought of you guys on Monday evening when I saw a rainbow! I made sure to take a pic!

    https://instagram.com/p/1tu5hascMP/?taken-by=amykay928
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