Lewis Whitman from Plymouth was out for a walk with his red Labrador Nellie. But little did he know that he was going to be the witness of an extremely rare moonbow night.
Whitman was absolutely awestruck after seeing a moonbow that was formed over Dartmoor and he captured the stunning sight in his camera, The Herald reported. Photographing a moonbow is extremely rare, because the phenomenon of moonbow or lunar rainbow formation itself is an extremely sporadic event.
Moonbows are usually formed impromptu, after a heavy rainfall or around mist generated from waterfalls. The principle of moonbow formation is exactly same as that of rainbow, but in this case, moonlight is refracted off of water droplets instead of sunlight.
Lunar rainbows are considered most elusive natural wonders, and photographing a moonbow is considered a precious moment. Whitman was at the right place, at the right time and photographed the moonbow using the 30 seconds exposure feature. "The photo quality isn't overly great, but it was quite wet!" he said.
Earlier in August 2014, professional photographer John Baker unconsciously captured stunning pictures of a moonbow formed over Dartmoor, when he was photographing the Perseid meteor shower. Baker said that "While I was taking pictures of the meteor, I saw this hazy half moon dome in one of the pictures then when I looked back at the series I saw it was a rainbow".
Baker went home and checked what exactly it was, when he realized that he had actually captured a rare lunar rainbow in his camera. He said, "The pictures were taken at around 2.10am over five minutes before it faded out," and that "it was totally opportunistic," according to the report published in Mirror.
The Huffington Post listed a few places where the probability of seeing a moonbow are fairly high, which included the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; Cumberland Falls, Kentucky; Easter Island and Hawaii.
If you want to see a moonbow for real, then the next time you are out late in the night after a heavy rain, just keep your eyes on the sky and you might get lucky.