PHOTO: Rare lunar rainbow appears in Gunma night sky

October 19, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

TAKAYAMA, Gunma Prefecture--A rare lunar rainbow graced the night sky here for the first time in seven years, the Gunma Astronomical Observatory said.

Observatory officials said the lunar rainbow emerged around 6:20 p.m. on Oct. 16. It appeared only dim and white to the naked eye, but a camera captured a clearer image of it using a 60 second exposure.

A moon rainbow is formed when airborne water droplets reflect the light of a relatively bright moon. On Oct. 16, the waxing gibbous moon was 11 days old. A light drizzle had fallen, just hours following the passage of the devastating Typhoon No. 26.

It was the first lunar rainbow since October 2006.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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A lunar rainbow in the night sky over Takayama, Gunma Prefecture, on Oct. 16 (Provided by the Gunma Astronomical Observatory)

A lunar rainbow in the night sky over Takayama, Gunma Prefecture, on Oct. 16 (Provided by the Gunma Astronomical Observatory)

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  • A lunar rainbow in the night sky over Takayama, Gunma Prefecture, on Oct. 16 (Provided by the Gunma Astronomical Observatory)

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