Beverly Ulfig captured this rainbow photo at Sands Park on Manistee Lake in Kalkaska, Michigan, on July 23, 2018. She wrote:
The entire day had a feel of rain off and on. It did rain at approximately 5:30 p.m. for about 10 minutes. But it remained somewhat cloudy. The sun appeared about 7 p.m., and then we were treated to this special occurrence.
What Beverly caught is a rare type of rainbow, called a reflection rainbow. You sometimes see one over water, as in the photo above. At the great website Atmospheric Optics, Les Cowley explains:
Sunlight reflected off the water and traveling upwards makes the reflection bow. To raindrops, the reflected light appears to come from a second sun the same angular distance below the water as the real sun is above it.
Les has a lot more to say about reflection rainbows, which you can read here.
Thank you, Beverly and Les!
Bottom line: July 23, 2018, photo of a rare reflection rainbow, captured in Michigan.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.