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Calvin Bradshaw (calvinbradshaw.com)
Calvin Bradshaw (calvinbradshaw.com)

Moonbows!

Calvin Bradshaw (calvinbradshaw.com)
Calvin Bradshaw (calvinbradshaw.com)

A moonbow, or lunar rainbow, is just like a normal rainbow, but at night. They are also much less common and almost impossible to see. Moonlight is just reflected sunlight, so it makes sense that these rainbows would be a lot dimmer. These spectacles are so dim that most people cannot see them with the naked eye. The best way to see these sly rainbows is with a camera and long exposure.

If you're looking to snap your own picture of a moonbow, the best place to look is by waterfalls. Lunar rainbows that form from falling water are known as spray moonbows. The most popular spots for spray moonbow sightings are Victoria Falls, Yosemite National Park, and Cumberland Falls. Texas State University even offers predictions for moonbow appearances in Yosemite Park. 

1. Skógafoss waterfall

Stephane Vetter (Nuits sacrees) via NASA

The Skógafoss waterfall is one of the largest in Iceland. Not only is there a beautiful moonbow, there are also green streaks of aurora. 

2. Lower Yosemite Falls

Catherine Aeppel captured this shot at Lower Yosemite Falls. You can see the night sky overhead and even the Big Dipper makes an appearance.

3. Wallaman Falls

Phil Plait

Thierry Legault took this beautiful photograph at Wallaman Falls in Australia. It is the tallest single-drop waterfall in the country.

4. Yosemite Falls

Here's a another shot at Yosemite Park courtesy of National Geographic.

5. Jerome

Alan Stark

A moonbow stretches over the Arizona mining town of Jerome.

6. Cumberland Falls

Brandy Cathers found this one at Cumberland Falls in Kentucky, also known as the Little Niagara. Due to the often clear weather, moonbows are fairly common.

7. Victoria Falls

Calvin Bradshaw (calvinbradshaw.com) via Wikimedia Commons

Victoria Falls has also been called "The smoke that thunders." The waterfall has several vantage points that allow tourists to take great panoramic pictures. As you can see, the moonbow only exists where the spray is. It needs the water droplets to scatter the light to create the colorful display. 

8. Lower Yosemite Fall

Brocken Inaglory

Here is an interesting shot at the lower Yosemite Fall.  

9. & 10. Yosemite Falls

Peter Park nabbed this picture at Yosemite Falls. The technicolor water looks straight out of a fairy tale. 

Here's another angle of the same waterfall. It may look like daytime, but the visible stars show it's the middle of the night. 

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Space
Look Up! Residents of Maine and Michigan Might Catch a Glimpse of the Northern Lights Tonight
iStock
iStock

The aurora borealis, a celestial show usually reserved for spectators near the arctic circle, could potentially appear over parts of the continental U.S. on the night of February 15. As Newsweek reports, a solar storm is on track to illuminate the skies above Maine and Michigan.

The Northern Lights (and the Southern Lights) are caused by electrons from the sun colliding with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. The solar particles transfer some of their energy to oxygen and nitrogen molecules on contact, and as these excited molecules settle back to their normal states they release light particles. The results are glowing waves of blue, green, purple, and pink light creating a spectacle for viewers on Earth.

The more solar particles pelt the atmosphere, the more vivid these lights become. Following a moderate solar flare that burst from the sun on Monday, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center forecast a solar light show for tonight. While the Northern Lights are most visible from higher latitudes where the planet’s magnetic field is strongest, northern states are occasionally treated to a view. This is because the magnetic North Pole is closer to the U.S. than the geographic North Pole.

This Thursday night into Friday morning is expected to be one of those occasions. To catch a glimpse of the phenomena from your backyard, wait for the sun to go down and look toward the sky. People living in places with little cloud cover and light pollution will have the best chance of spotting it.

[h/t Newsweek]

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The North Face
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Design
The North Face's New Geodesic Dome Tent Will Protect You in 60 mph Wind
The North Face
The North Face

You can find camping tents designed for easy set-up, large crowds, and sustainability, but when it comes to strength, there’s only so much abuse a foldable structure can take. Now, The North Face is pushing the limits of tent durability with a reimagined design. According to inhabitat, the Geodome 4 relies on its distinctive geodesic shape to survive wind gusts approaching hurricane strength.

Instead of the classic arching tent structure, the Geodome balloons outward like a globe. It owes its unique design to the five main poles and one equator pole that hold it in place. Packed up, the gear weighs just over 24 pounds, making it a practical option for car campers and four-season adventurers. When it’s erected, campers have floor space measuring roughly 7 feet by 7.5 feet, enough to sleep four people, and 6 feet and 9 inches of space from ground to ceiling if they want to stand. Hooks attached to the top create a system for gear storage.

While it works in mild conditions, the tent should really appeal to campers who like to trek through harsher weather. Geodesic domes are formed from interlocking triangles. A triangle’s fixed angles make it one of the strongest shapes in engineering, and when used in domes, triangles lend this strength to the overall structure. In the case of the tent, this means that the dome will maintain its form in winds reaching speeds of 60 mph. Meanwhile, the double-layered, water-resistant exterior keeps campers dry as they wait out the storm.

The Geodome 4 is set to sell for $1635 when it goes on sale in Japan this March. In the meantime, outdoorsy types in the U.S. will just have to wait until the innovative product expands to international markets.

[h/t inhabitat]

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