Rare triple rainbows made appearances on both sides of the pond over the last week, with one photographed in Maine and another captured in Scotland.
When the conditions are just right, this beautiful display of color dazzles the eye, but even though it showed up on November in Robbinston, Maine on November 28 and Orkney, Scotland on November 26, it doesn’t happen often.
There have only been five scientific reports of triple rainbows in the past 250 years, according to Optical Society, which is an international scientific body.
Whether it was scientific reported or not, another one was photographed in 2017 in the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
It’s the bodies of water i all of these photos that makes the phenomenon possible.
The photograph of the triple rainbow in Robbinston was snapped by a person named Meaghan Callahan Kellenberger, and shared by a weather reporter from the area.
‘This is amazing!!! [three rainbow emojis]’ meteorologist Jessica Conley tweeted on November 28, including Kellenberger’s photo.
The image was captured shortly after sunrise with showers streaming in the northwest, which allowed for a sun low on the southeast horizon to bring the vision alive.
The low sun and the bodies of water are what is key to bringing about a triple rainbow.
Sunlight reflecting internally within raindrops is what makes a double rainbow possible.
The second arc appears with the colors reversed from the first.
Triple rainbows, however, require a bit more luck to materialize. These marvels, called ‘reflection rainbows,’ show up when the sun is low on the horizon and there is a large body of water nearby.
Sunlight can then reflect through raindrops, but this time off of the surface of the water and a different angle to the direct beam of sunlight.
So, triple rainbows will show up at a different angle than the first two rainbows, crossing over them.
Even more rare is a triple rainbow resulting from rays of light being reflected three times in a rain drop.
But, it has happened, just not in any of these photos, where a large body of water does the trick.
The second triple rainbow from the past week was spotted in Orkney, Scotland.
‘That’s a little hello for @TamsinRussell from my window in #Orkney! From where else could you see a triple rainbow? [green heart emoji, sailboat emoji, rainbow emoji],’ a Twitter user under the name Marion Ratier tweeted on November 26.
The third triple rainbow mentioned above was spotted in Stornoway, Scotland on September 8, 2017, according to Twitter user with the handle @adb44.
The photo was just shared on Tuesday, which may have caused some confusion had it not been for the date provided in the tweet.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, by Stephanie Haney