Rare 'moonbow' photographed in night sky over Yorkshire

Phenomenon caused when light from the moon is refracted through raindrops

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The Independent Online

A rare ‘moonbow’ has been caught on camera in the skies over North Yorkshire.

The phenomenon – also known as a lunar rainbow – was captured on Monday evening on the moors between Skipton and Keighly.

Ben Gwynne took the images and posted them to his Facebook page. “I have never seen this before! A moonbow,” he wrote. “Very odd and very cool!”

The photographer had been out taking pictures of that evening’s supermoon when he came across the lunar rainbow. 

Mr Gwynn told the BBC: "We'd gone into the Dales to take pictures and stopped on the way back to photograph the moon over some trees.”

"I'd never seen one before and getting to photograph it was amazing."

A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with it getting as close to Earth as possible. The result is a far brighter and vivid moon than normal.

Moonbows are rainbows produced by moonlight rather than sunlight.

The light is refracted by raindrops during a downpour and is always on the opposite part of the sky from the moon relative to the observer.