National Astronomical Observatory of Japan



Rainbow Over a Tropical Island at Night


Rainbow Over a Tropical Island at Night

A moonbow, a rainbow which is produced by moonlight, appeared in the sky over Ishigakijima Island in October 2016. Like a rainbow made by the Sun in the daytime, a moonbow is a phenomenon where moonlight is divided into various colors such as red, green, and blue due to refraction and reflection by water drops in the atmosphere. Because moonlight is weaker than sunlight, a moonbow’s light is also weak and faint. The moonbow appeared for ten minutes. It shone quietly like a small gift from the Moon.

Text by: Hidekazu Hanayama (Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory)
Translation by: Hiroko Tsuzuki and Ramsey Lundock (Public Relations Center, NAOJ)

Image Data

Date8:44 p.m. on October 16, 2016
LensNikon AI AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D (f/2.8)
CameraNikon D600
ExposureISO800, 25 seconds
PhotographerHidekazu Hanayama
CreditNational Astronomical Observatory of Japan


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