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Supernumerary rainbow over New Jersey

Look slightly inside a bright primary bow, and sometimes you’ll see these fringes. Their numbers and spacing can change from minute to minute.

Wow! John Entwistle captured this rare supernumerary rainbow on Tuesday evening (September 18, 2018) over the Jersey Shore, New Jersey. John said:

My daughter and I watched rainbows fade in and out for a half hour at sunset. Some of the brightest rainbow colors I’ve ever seen in my life!

It’s a classic example of a supernumerary rainbow. Les Cowley at Atmospheric Optics has written of this type of rainbow:

Look slightly inside a bright primary bow and sometimes you will see one or more predominantly green, pink and purple fringes. Their numbers and spacing can change from minute to minute. They are seen most often near the top of the bow …

Read more about supernumerary rainbows at Atmospheric Optics

Thanks, John, for sharing your photo with us!

Eleanor Imster

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