Moonbows, Fogbows and Halos

Ever since I lifted a camera in my hand, my mission was to show people what mother nature can produce. things that people dont see every day, rare phonema,  Aurora,  night sky, storms etc etc, everything mother nature can produce in this Beautiful country of ours. that was my drive and still is. Moonbows and fogbows are for sure rare but amazing when seen to the naked eye and even more amazing when captured on camera.



The Rainbow at night, the Moonbow is one of the coolest things to see and capture, Many people will probably be wondering how the hell do you see a rainbow at night when the sun is gone. The light source is the Moon instead of the sun hence the name Moonbow. I remember the first time i witnessed 1 when i was in my early 20s out fishing one night and this ghostly bow appeared in the sky, i was baffled, so was my friends with me that night. thank god for google we typed moon rainbow and put our minds at rest. what a sight tho. I have searched for them ever since but when i lifted a camera I wanted to capture them. I have captured many but by far my best image of 1 is the image above, Moonbow at Dunluce castle. I captured this 1 while i was out doing timelapse with friend Martin Mckenna back in 2015. I actually stopped my origional timelapse and ran to capture this because it wouldnt of been in the frame of my timelapse. it was well worth it.

A bright moon near to full is needed, it must be raining opposite the moon, the sky must be dark and the moon must be less than 42º high. Put all these together and you do not get to see a moonbow very often! To the unaided eye they usually appear without colour because their light is not bright enough to activate the cone colour receptors in our eyes. Nonetheless colours have been reported and might be seen when the moon is bright.



Fogbows and sometimes called white rainbows, cloudbows or ghost rainbows are made much as rainbows are, from the same configuration of sunlight and moisture. Rainbows happen when the air is filled with raindrops, and you always see a rainbow in the direction opposite the sun. Fogbows are much the same, always opposite the sun, but fogbows are caused by the small droplets inside a fog or cloud rather than larger raindrops.

Look for fogbows in a thin fog, when the sun is bright. You might see one when the sun breaks through a fog.

Or watch for fogbows over the ocean.

Because the water droplets in fog are so small, fogbows have only weak colours or are colourless.

The image above is diffrent tho. Its a lunar fogbow meaning the reflected light from the moon caused it not the sun. I captured it one night I made the journey to the north coast to capture the planet conjunction of Mars, venus and jupiter.

when i arrived there was sea mist blowing in off the sea so photography was a no go, I headed for home again there was alot of fog but seen that the conjunction was sometimes visable as the fog got lighter so headed for the blacklough in dungannon and to my delight the moon was visable when the fog got lighter and the lunar fogbow appeared. what a rare shot planet conjunction with a lunar fogbow it dosnt get better than that. another example of a Lunar fogbow I captured at beaghmore stone circles 1 night.




22º radius halos are visible all over the world and throughout the year. Look out for them whenever the sky is wisped or hazed with thin cirrus clouds. These clouds are cold and contain ice crystals in even the hottest climes. 

The halo is large. Stretch out the fingers of your hand at arms length. The tips of the thumb and little finger then subtend roughly 20°. Place your thumb over the the sun and the halo will be near the little finger tip.

The halo is always the same diameter regardless of its position in the sky. Sometimes only parts of the complete circle are visible.

Much smaller coloured rings around the sun or moon are a corona produced by water droplets rather than ice crystals.

image above is a 22º halo with supralateral and infralateral arcs I captured last year. 

also another halo is the 22º Lunar halo this is when the light from the moon refracts off the ice crystals. they are absolutly stunning to see on a full moon. 

Image below is a Lunar halo I captured at Massuden temple this year


so get out there folks, Hope you see one of these rare events like I have, Conditions have to be just right. but once it all comes together you might witness something special. 

Never stop looking up.