Picture of the Day: Double Rainbow From Space!

More

USA5_tmo_2012173_lrg-615.jpg

The two rainbows in this picture taken by an instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite are not actually rainbows at all but a phenomenon known as a glory. Glories and rainbows appear rather sumilar, but rainbows are formed by refraction and reflection, whereas glories are the result of backward diffraction. Glories tend to be circular rings of color, commonly seen from airplanes passing over thin clouds with droplets between 10 and 30 microns in diameter. The glory in this picture, taken on June 20th, doesn't have a circular appearance because of the way the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) took the picture, scanning the Earth in strips perpendicular to the satellite's path. Also visible in the image is the Pacific island of Guadalupe and swirling cloud eddies known as von Karman vortices.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Jump to comments
Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In