Rare lunar rainbow appears in the night sky over Punta Arena, Chile

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A rare lunar rainbow – or “moonbow” – has been spotted in the night sky over Chile. And such a rare phenomenon is pretty amazing!

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Extremely rare lunar rainbow over Punta Arena, Chile in March 2021. Picture: Camilo Muñoz Miranda (@camilo302 Instagram)

It was caught on camera over Punta Arenas on March 27, 2021 by photographer Camilo Muñoz Miranda.

I have never seen this before… and actually never heard of a moonbow until now.

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I have never seen a moonbow… What about you? Picture: Sur de Chile. (@surdechile Instagram)

How do moonbow form?

Lunar rainbows are formed when moonlight, rather than direct sunlight, is refracted by moisture in the atmosphere. They are much harder to see than the daytime versions because moonlight is so much fainter, meaning they often look white to the naked eye.

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More whitish that rainbowish over the city of Punta Arenas in Chile… Picture: Sur de Chile. (@surdechile Instagram)

Now look at these oily clouds in the sky over the Pyrennees, France… Disturbing too

The combination of conditions required for a lunar rainbow to appear makes it a rare sky phenomenon. Have you ever had the chance to see a lunar rainbow?

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