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   Reflected Rainbows

 
Two rainbows imaged by Roslyn Lunetta.

The lower bow, although it is called a "reflected bow", is not a reflection of the upper one. Rainbows are not real objects and therefore cannot produce reflections.

More reflection & reflected bows 1,2,3,4,5,6

Image ©Roslyn Lunetta
 
 
 
 






 

The bow below the horizon is formed by different raindrops from the ones that produced the sky bow.

Reflected bows are made by rays that are reflected by the water surface after they have passed through raindrops. The reflection inverts the rainbow and the bow centre is then above the horizon at the anthelic point. The reflection bow and ordinary bow meet in a cusp at the horizon.