Yosemite National Park was enlivened by a mesmerizing nocturnal spectacle as June’s Strawberry Moon coincided with the melting of the Sierra snowpack, rejuvenating the park’s waterfalls.
During the night of the full moon on June 2, photographer Shreenivasan Manievannan captured images of Yosemite’s waterfalls and lunar rainbows, or “moonbows”. In his Instagram post, Manievannan exclaimed, “Moonbow this year was phenomenal with epic snowpack in the Sierra Nevada!”. The post combined real-time video footage and time-lapse shots that traced the path of the stars on the full moon night.
See the beautiful scene:
According to Manievannan, the Yosemite Valley experienced flooding that amplified the moonbows’ reflections. His edited long-exposure photograph showcased the moonbows’ brilliance amidst a backdrop of bright stars.
While typical rainbows, which are produced in the aftermath of rainstorms by sunlight, are familiar to most people, the rainbows Manievannan documented are a distinct phenomenon. These moonbows form in a similar way, through the reflection and refraction of light within water droplets, but they are generated by moonlight rather than sunlight. Just as sunlight can bend and reflect off the park’s waterfalls on a clear day, so can moonlight.
The radiant full moon supplied the necessary light reflection, resulting in the creation of these captivating moonbows dancing across the waterfalls.