The delight and surprise we feel after spotting a double rainbow
arcing across the sky almost never wears off.

So imagine photographer Ben Gwynne’s shock while he photographed

Sunday’s supermoon
— and turned around to see a
double moonbow.

Below is Gwynne’s photo of the relatively rare phenomenon, which
he first posted
about on Facebook
(and we first saw at the BBC).

The UK-based professional photographer
snapped the image over a field in northern England at 7:38 p.m.
as fog rolled through the area:

moonbow full moon rainbow copyright ben gwynne 159photography.

rare photograph of a “moonbow” photographed in northern England
during the supermoon on Oct. 16, 2016.


Sunlight did not directly cause the rainbow, since it was well
after dark. Moonlight — which was beaming from low on
the horizon, opposite of the moonbow — refracted off droplets of
water in the fog, splitting into a rainbow of colors.

“I’d never seen one before and getting to photograph it was
amazing,” Gwynne told the BBC.

“There may have been a couple of [curses],” too, Gwynne told
Business Insider via Facebook Messenger.

Gwynne set his camera to capture a long exposure, which helped
saturate the subtle lighting and colors. It also brought out the
double moonbow hovering above the main arc, plus some
orange-colored light pollution.

Sunday night’s full moon was a supermoon, or when the moon swings
closest to Earth in its monthly and slightly elliptical orbit.
Technically called “perigee-syzygy
of the Earth-Moon-Sun system
,” supermoons are not only a bit
brighter than typical full moons, but they can also cause
stronger ocean tides and weather events.

The next supermoon is November 14, 2016 (the
closest supermoon since 1948), and after that there’s one
December 13, 2016. (We wish you luck in seeing a

Sunday’s full moon also earned the name of a Hunter’s moon and a
blood moon, which are just two more of the
dozens of names we ascribe to lunar phases

Rebecca Harrington contributed to this post.