What Is a Moonbow and How Is It Different From A Rainbow?

Both bows are shaped the same way, but instead of being a beautiful arc made up of different colors, a moonbow has only one shade.

It is a silvery white, the color of moonlight. There are only two places on earth where you can see a moonbow. One is the Zambezi River in South Africa, and the other is the Cumberland Falls State Park in Corbin, Kentucky.

Here, the moonbow occurs four or five days each month when the moon is full and the atmospheric conditions are right. The arc of moonlight appears in the mist of the falls. It begins at the base of the falling water and continues downstream.

Moonbows are caused the same way rainbows are, by light passing through droplets of water. When we see a rainbow, we see seven different colors because the light of the sun is so strong.

When looking at a moonbow, we see only the silvery arc caused by the much weaker light of the moon.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

1 thought on “What Is a Moonbow and How Is It Different From A Rainbow?”

  1. I saw the most amazing moonbow this year in Ireland, when I didn’t even know what they were, that they had a name, or even that they existed.

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