Gallery 3 - Earth Bound   >   Atmospheric Optics   >   Rainbows   >   360 Degree Rainbow

The conditions have to be just right to capture a 360 degree rainbow from the air. We looked for isolated rainshowers with just the right sized cloud and the sun had to be low enough in the sky with enough sunlight reaching the shower. We also had to position the plane so that the sun was on one side and the shower on the other. You can see the window reflections on the wing due to the sun being on the opposite side.

This shower showed a nice arc but wasn't large enough for a full rainbow.

The top arc of this rainbow was nice but the shower was still not big enough.

This little shower only showed a small arc but the strong sunlight made the rainbow very bright.

This larger isolated shower looked promising, but as we got closer, the sun hid behind clouds.

Just as we got close and positioned the plane, the sun came out again and there it was! A full rainbow too big to fit in the 10mm lens!

As Peter lifted the right wing high, Debra took as many photos while the opportunity lasted. Here, a double rainbow was showing as the sun brightened.

Peter tipped the wing down toward the ground to show that rainbows keep on going in a circle and that there is no pot of gold at the end. We both agreed that this was the most awesome thing we have seen in the air.