Photographer's Note

from Hervey Bay we went with a ferry for a one-day trip to Fraser Island. There was generally good weather, occasionally some drizzles, so we could observe many beautiful rainbows. Here a part of double rainbow. There is also here a trace of supernumerary. The dark area between the primary and secondary rainbow is typical feature and is well visible.

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.
These "supernumerary bows" are an intimation of the limitations of geometric optics for it is totally unable to explain them. To do so we must take account of the wave nature of light.

To see a rainbow we need sunshine and falling rain. Rainbows are rarer than might be thought. In any one place in rainy England there are fewer than ten bright ones in a year. Halos occur much more frequently.

Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to see them because the sun must not be too high. Rainbows are always opposite the sun and their centres are below the horizon at the the antisolar point. The lower the sun the higher is the bow.

Red is always outermost in the primary bow with orange, yellow, green and blue within. Occasionally, when the raindrops are small, fainter supernumerary arcs of electric greens, pinks and purples lie just inside the main bow.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12855 W: 136 N: 33238] (152102)
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