Rainbows exhibit the colors we’re all familiar with when they’re not at their highest position in the sky. As the Sun sets, rainbows arch higher and higher without much of change in color. However, once the Sun dips below the horizon, the increased path length of sunlight alters a rainbow’s appearance. Image credit: Phil Thomson; Phil’s Web site
Tim Samaras has a storm in his headlights and the world’s fastest high-resolution camera in the trailer behind. Can it catch lightning in the act? Above: On the highway with the Kahuna in tow, Samaras hunts for the elusive shot. This summer he’s on the chase again, with new, nimbler equipment. Image © Carsten Peter / National Geographic
A layer of stratocumulus clouds over the Pacific Ocean, in this image from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired on June 20, 2012, served as the backdrop for this rainbow-like optical phenomenon known as a glory. Glories generally appear as concentric rings of color in front of mist or fog.
NASA’s Aqua satellite is named for its ability to measure water vapor in the atmosphere, water in the oceans, as well as ice and snow. It was launched on May 4, 2002, and has been functioning perfectly for 10 years, providing us 29 million gigabytes of data. Image above: Two powerful storms in the South China Sea near the Philippines.
How many of you have ever seen a rainbow like the one above? The presence of water nearby is the key to having a chance to observe such a bow. This picture was snapped in Swan Bay, just off the Bellarine Peninsula of Victoria, Australia. Photographer: Phil Thomson; Phil’s Website
Photographer George Tapan with “Into the Green Zone” is the winner of the category Places, of National Geographic 2011 competition. He captured a rainbow after the rain at the Palawan Islands in the Philippines.