The incredibly rare moonbow came right as the Aurora Borealis began dancing across the Scottish night sky. To see both simultaneously is a “near-miracle”.
Northern Scotland is host to an immense amount of rare beauty. This latest celestial appearance, however, may have them all beat.
Andy Walker, a self-professed Scottish “aurora chaser”, was able to photograph the unbelievable display. Much to his disbelief, Walker was able to capture a double moonbow simultaneously appearing with the bright green Aurora Borealis.
Walker says this is beyond a first for him. “I’ve never seen a moonbow before . . . It was a once in a lifetime moment,” he tells the Daily Record. To see not one, but this double occurrence – alongside the Northern Lights, to boot – is a “near-miracle”.
See double moonbow appear above Aurora Borealis
The photographer’s shot was sent to SWNS, which was then picked up by Fox News. The latter is sharing the amazing event to their 5.5 million followers on Instagram, giving Walker quite a shock. Although Fox fails to credit the Scotsman, his photo does speak for itself:
A photographer captured this rare photo of a double moonbow in the night sky simultaneously as the Aurora Borealis.Fox News
What is a moonbow?
As one of modern nature’s rarest phenomena, moonbows require a very specific set of circumstances to appear. Firstly, they require the light of the moon – not the sun – to pass through rain or thick moisture in the atmosphere. To produce a moonbow in this way, the moon has to be at its absolute brightest. Then, to even see it, the sky needs to be clear enough for the moonbow to be visible.
Yet what makes them even rarer in “modern nature” – is our light pollution. Since a moonbow must happen with the moon, the chances of it being drowned out by our mass amounts of city lights polluting the night sky are high. We may get a few moonbows a year – and never even see most due to our penchant to drown out true darkness.
[H/T Fox News]