Monday, November 18, 2019

Two Bows

I had been wondering what I could possibly post about on the blog. It's been dark and dreary foggy for days. I looked through the very few photos I've taken in the past week. Oh yeah, I tried to capture what the sun looks like covered by a thick layer of fog. It looks a bit like a washed out moon. Not all that interesting. I also photographed the beautiful bit of blue sky clouds I saw when the fog parted briefly. Ah, so that's what I've missing I thought to myself. Not all that interesting, although I loved it immensely. Then I noticed the photo of the rainbow we saw last Friday. It was surprising because it hadn't rained or even drizzled but was merely damp. Still there was a rainbow, so I photographed it.
When I looked at the photo I saw something I hadn't noticed when I shot it. There is a faint bow above it. But it doesn't look like the usual double rainbow. It has no color. It looks like a cloud bow or fog bow.
So, I photoshopped it to show a bit more of it. There really is no color in that bow. It made me so happy. I'm going to send these images to my dear friend Les Cowley at Atmospheric Optics to see if he confirms that I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing.

What do you think?

Because I can't resist, here is that hint of blue skies and cloud in a brief parting of the fog.
And then it was gone.

26 comments:

  1. I think I can see a third rainbow just above the roofline of the house. Interestingly, multiple rainbows have their line up of colors inverted.

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    1. Paul-- I do see a bit of an arc above the roofline. Now I'm wondering what that may be. Cool!

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  2. I know how I love blue skies too...especially since I woke up to grey everywhere this morning.

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    1. Barbara-- After weeks of fog, even the briefest of clearings really helps.

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  3. Interesting. Look forward to your answer and glad the weather is better.

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    1. NCmountainwoman-- I haven't heard back from Les yet, but I suspect it's just a very pale double bow.

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  4. The upper arch is mysterious. You had to be there at that moment to get the photo. Rainbows don't last very long.

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    1. Red-- It is a mystery, but I'm starting to think maybe it's just a very very pale second rainbow. I was hoping for something more interesting.

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  5. I dunno, maybe I'm delusional (got that right) but I can see just a hint of color in that upper rainbow. Even in the original version. Perhaps it is my ever optimistic outlook. I love the break in the fog -- interesting chopping cloud formations with the blue peeking through.

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    1. Tara-- I keep looking for some color and have tried all kinds of photoshop stuff to really bring it out. It's pretty pale. Glad you like that cloud pic.

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  6. I too see that 3rd bow that Paul sees.
    The large one above the rainbow is interesting. It is faint but it is there. Be interested to see what your friend says.

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    1. Patti-- I see it a bit too. The second bow is so interesting, but it's probably just the palest double rainbow ever!

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  7. Oh it's there alright. Strange that it's so faint. And your final picture is simply beautiful. The clouds (like cats) are our friends.

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    1. Catalyst-- I was so surprised to see that upper bow in the photo when I hadn't noticed it at all in the moment.

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  8. Leah and I both liked the rainbow shots. Also the clouds peeking through the fog. It reminds us that there is a whole world of sunlight somewhere above the fog.

    All bows formed by water droplets are "rainbows". That is, it's the same phenomenon, sun rays reflected and refracted within a water droplet. Bows or arcs formed by ice crystals are different. A good rule of thumb is that "rainbows" are formed opposite the sun, so the sun is behind you when you look at the bow, and arcs and bows formed by ice crystals are between the observer and the sun. It's not uniformly true, because, for example, circumhorizontal arcs go (or can go) all the way around the horizon, both in front of and behind the observer as she is viewing the sun. Also, seemingly colorless rainbows are just so faint that the color is not visible, but the physics that causes the colors of the rainbow also has to cause the fainter bows to be refracted into the sunlight's constituent colors.

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    1. Mark-- I think about the whole world of sunlight above that fog all the time. LOL! I have come to the conclusion that the second pale bow is the palest rainbow I've ever seen. I was hoping it might be a cloud bow or fog bow, but I'm guessing it's not.

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  9. Great pictures, Robin.
    We cannot always see fully what the skies show us.

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    1. Sabine-- Fog always makes me wonder about what I'm missing. It surprises me how fog can so dim the light of the sun.

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  10. I meant to add that I've finally seen some iridescent clouds. I was driving across Missouri, and I had my polarized sunglasses on, but there they were, high in the sky, on the edge of the cloud. Libby could see them too.

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    1. Paul-- That is the coolest news! I love that you and Libby saw iridescent clouds. They are so beautiful. Hurray!!!

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  11. Just when you were wondering what to post about, Robin, Mother Nature stepped in with this sky display. Thanks for sharing this rainbow capture and I'll be interested in reading what Les thought about the bow.

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    1. Beatrice-- I'm always happy when the sky shows me something like this.

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  12. Lovely rainbow shots! We haven't seen the sun over here for weeks...

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    1. Lady Fi-- Glad you liked the rainbows. We're having a sunny week right now but in for a week of rain coming.

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  13. Brilliant the skys ceranly do show some treasures

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    1. Billy-- We were so glad to see this rainbow and doubly delighted to notice in the pic that there were two!

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