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Image Gallery: Amazing Rainbows!

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A rainbow over Harper's Lake in Louisville, Colorado.
(Image: © Bambi L. Dingman/dreamstime)

Quaternary Rainbow

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(Image credit: Michael Theusner/Applied Optics.)

This photograph shows the first-ever evidence of an elusive fourth-order rainbow. The spectacle in the image looks like a double rainbow, because it only shows the third-order (tertiary) rainbow (left), accompanied by the fourth-order (quaternary) rainbow (right). They appear on the sunward side of the sky, at approximately 40 degrees and 45 degrees, respectively, from the sun. Tertiary and quaternary rainbows can only form on the same side of the sky as the sun, unlike primary and secondary rainbows. As such, the primary and secondary rainbows are on the other side of the sky and so not shown in the photo.

Double Rainbow Lightning

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(Image credit: dcstormchaser/YouTube.)

Lightning struck seemingly in front of a double rainbow in suburban Washington, D.C., on Aug. 1, 2011. All the action was caught on video.

Cirrus Rainbow

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(Image credit: © Del Zane.)

This colorful phenomenon, known officially as a circumhorizon arc, occurs when sunlight strikes cirrus clouds the kind that typically look like cotton candy and form very high in the sky at a certain angle.

Glory from space

Glory from space

(Image credit: Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response)

A view from space of a rainbow-like optical phenomenon called a glory, consisting of brilliant lines of color, taken by NASA's Aqua satellite on June 20, 2012.

Brunt Shelf Glory Icebridge

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(Image credit: Michael Studinger)

In this image, taken Oct. 26, 2010, over Antarctica's Brunt Ice Shelf, a glory surrounds the shadow of the DC-8 plane that is flying NASA's IceBridge mission to survey the state of Antarctic ice. The image was taken during the first flight of Icebridge's fall 2010 campaign.