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Lunar Rainbow 1
CREDIT: Robert Akester

Rosie's Photo Of Me (Resized)
Discovering Lunar Rainbows
Viewing the phenomenon at Iguassu Falls, Brazil

Robert Akester LRPS has been a member of the Travel Group since 2002, most recently serving as its Treasurer. A major retirement project for him is working towards an ARPS.

Until 2012 I had never heard of a lunar rainbow. It was only by chance that I found out then. We had been due to visit the Pantanal and Iguazu Falls in Brazil and I was looking online at the web site for details of our hotel by the Falls – the Hotel Das Cataratas. Close to the Falls on the Brazilian side, it is well within the Park boundaries, so giving access for hotel guests throughout the day and night, when the Park is closed to other visitors.

The web site mentioned that when the moon is full the hotel leads guests to the Falls at night to view a lunar rainbow. It seems logical now that with bright moonlight shining through the spray one might expect to see a night equivalent of the often-seen daytime rainbows resulting from sun and rain. It had just never occurred to me before. Apparently a similar phenomenon can be seen at the Victoria Falls, I then discovered.

After reading of the possibility I quickly checked the calendar for moon phases at the time we were due to visit. To my excitement I found that by pure chance our booking coincided with a full moon. On the night itself a group of a couple of dozen guests met after dinner to be led to the edge of the Falls. It was a clear night (another stroke of luck!) and when we reached the viewing point we were thrilled to see exactly what we had been promised.

Everyone had cameras or phones to record the sight, but those with basic cameras or phones had nothing to show. A good SLR and a tripod were necessary. By bumping the ISO to 2500 and exposing for a minute I was able to capture something of the majesty of the scene, despite a level of grain in the image. It was definitely a highlight of what had already been a spectacular trip.

 

 

Lunar Rainbow 1
CREDIT: Robert Akester
Lunar Rainbow
Lunar Rainbow 2
CREDIT: Robert Akester
Lunar Rainbow
Daytime Rainbow
CREDIT: Robert Akester