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A Lunar rainbow is also known as a moonbow, black rainbow, white rainbow, lunar bow, or space rainbow. Lunar rainbows are most easily viewed when the moon is near to full (when it is brightest). For true moonbows, other than those produced by waterfalls or sprays, the moon must be low in the sky and the sky must be very dark.

A Lunar rainbow or moonbow is a rainbow produced by light reflected off the surface of the moon refracting off of moisture in the air.

Lunar rainbow Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is one of a few places on earth where you can witness a lunar rainbow

Luna rainbows are relatively faint, due to the smaller amount of light reflected from the surface of the moon. They are always in the opposite part of the sky from the moon. Because the light is usually too faint to excite the cone color receptors in human eyes, it is difficult for the human eye to discern colors in a moonbow. As a result, they often appear to be white.

Victoria Falls is one of a few places on earth where you can witness this phenomenon. Conditions are best when spray is at peak during high water from January to July with the latter few months ideal as they guarantee clear skies. For a unique experience, head to either the Zimbabwean or the Zambian rainforest during full moon. During this time, the parks are opened for 3 nights.

The best viewing spot is in Zambia from the Eastern Cataract after sunset with the moon rising in the east and the lunar rainbow forming over Rainbow Falls. The Zimbabwean rainforest offers several good viewpoints – Devil’s Cataract between 7 and 10 pm and the Main Falls from midnight to dawn.


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