Aurora chaser captures rare moonbow on camera

Edwina Aitken captured this moonbow over open while out searching for the Aurora.

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An amateur photographer from Oban has captured a stunning image of a rare moonbow.

Edwina Aitken went to Dunstaffnage on Monday night, searching for a glimpse of the aurora borealis. But although the aurora never appeared, nature produced the rarer sight of a moonbow over the night sky.

Edwina, who has been chasing the aurora since 2009, getting many great shots of it around Oban, was stunned when she caught her first sight of a moonbow.

She was with fellow aurora photographer Nick Edgington, from Oban, at the time and said: ‘I was very excited when I saw it, I said to Nick, “That’s a moonbow.”.

‘The moon was really bright and we were out aurora chasing when I saw a white streak going up in the sky and I fired off two or three shots.

‘We also saw a couple of shooting stars as well, the night sky is amazing.’

A moonbow, which is also known as a lunar rainbow, is produced by moonlight

rather that direct sunlight. It is caused by the refraction of light in water droplets, such as in rain or a waterfall and is always seen in the opposite part of the sky to the moon by onlookers.

It is hard for the human eye to see the colours in a moonbow because the light reflection is normally too faint to allow this, so the spectacle often appears white, although the colours do show up in long exposure photographs.

The only places where you can see moonbows on a consistent basis are at Victoria Falls, on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border and Cumberland Falls in Kentucky.