moonbow

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English[edit]

A moonbow at Victoria Falls, Africa
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Etymology[edit]

moon +‎ bow, by analogy with rainbow.

Noun[edit]

moonbow (plural moonbows)

  1. (meteorology) A rainbow formed by moonlight diffracted by water droplets in the air, usually fainter than a daytime rainbow and with fewer distinguishable colours.
    • 1896, James Wells, Travel-pictures from Palestine, page 94,
      Often rainbows by night or moonbows span the lake.
    • 2010, Bernd Brunner, Moon: A Brief History, unnumbered page,
      Among the rarer optical effects associated with the moon are also moonbows or lunar rainbows.
    • 2011, Colleen Ryckert Cook, Kentucky: Past and Present, page 9,
      When the sun shines over Kentucky's Cumberland Falls, the mist creates a rainbow on most days. If the moon shines brightly enough, it can create a moonbow, too!

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