It’s a treat to see a rainbow painting the sky, and seeing a double rainbow always gets our attention, but how many of us have seen four bows at the same time?
The anomalous rainbow “quad” shown below was photographed from the island of Terschelling in the Netherlands on April 28, 2017.
The bright primary bow (left most) and fainter secondary bow (right most) are a result of refraction and reflection of sunlight in raindrops – a second reflection within the drops creates the secondary bow.
However, the fainter bows – behind the first ones – isn’t due to a third raindrop reflection but rather to reflection off the primary and secondary rainbows, respectively. The reflected rainbow crosses the main level with the horizon, then it passes over it.
Sunlight reflecting off the smooth water of the ocean interacts with the falling raindrops to form the reflection rainbows. The color scheme is the inverse as that for the primary bow – blue on the outside and red on the inside.
Last year other such anomalous rainbows formed in the sky of Norway and New Zealand.
Have you ever seen multiple rainbows? Tell us our experience in the comments below.