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Halema'uma'u Moonbow

4:36 AM · Mar 9, 2021

A lunar rainbow, or moon bow appears in the early hours of the morning at Halema'uma'u crater, Kilauea, Volcano, Hawaii. Moon bows are much more rare than rainbows. They are however fairly common in Hawaii if you know where and when to look. Since I was a kid, I've held an extreme passion for astronomy, specifically with the moon. My first pictures of the moon were taken on film through my Celestron Telescope at 13 years old. Now as an adult I've made chasing lunar rainbows a major part of my life style. This one was as rare as it gets. The moon light was faint, the weather was intense with wind and heavy rain through most of the night. The trail was so muddy that I tied myself to a tree for safety. There were brief moments where the sky cleared and the stars came out. The extreme weather had caused my lens to continually fog up. Just as I decided to put my gear away and take everything in, this incredible and magical lunar rainbow appeared coming right out of Halema'umu'a Crater. It felt like a dream. Moon bows are caused by the refraction of light in water droplets as solar rainbows are. The vibrancy of a moon bow depends on how much direct moonlight the moisture is getting. In this case there was very little moonlight causing a slightly faint but quite colorful moon bow. The intense beauty and magic of this image still has me an awe. What is even more mind-boggling is that this scene lasted for an entire 33 minutes! By far this was the most incredible sites of my life.

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