Lunar Rainbow Photographed in Lightning Storm in England

(ABC)– A man captured a photo of a rare and beautiful "moonbow" during a lightning storm in the English countryside this weekend.

Ian Glendinning, who took the photo of the lunar rainbow, told ABC News today that he snapped the picture in the Coquet Valley in Northumberland, England, at around 2 a.m. local time on Sunday.

Lunar rainbows are formed when moonlight, rather than sunlight, is refracted by moisture in the atmosphere, according to ABC News’ partner BBC.

Glendinning said he did not saturate or color-correct the photo at all, but did reduce the highlights slightly during post-processing in order to more clearly show the lightning in the shot.

Glendinning said he doesn’t consider himself a professional photographer, but enjoys taking photos, especially dappling in nighttime photography, as a hobby.

"Moonbows are not particularly rare but not often seen, as most people don’t go out in the dark in the middle of the night when it’s raining," Glendinning told ABC News. "You will only get a bright one around the time of a full moon and the same conditions that create rainbows have to be present, except it’s the light from the moon and not the sun that makes the bow."

Glendinning said that on the night he took the photo of the moonbow he was out tracking an active electrical storm that was moving north in the United Kingdom and because there was a full moon, he knew there was a chance of a moonbow.

It was "more by good luck than good judgment," he said, that he managed to get a perfectly-timed, ethereal-looking shot of a moonbow framing lighting in the distance.



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