A photograph has been obtained of a natural fifth-order (quinary) rainbow. The photograph was acquired on 8 August 2012 with a digital camera and a polarization filter to maximize contrast of the rainbows with the background. The quinary rainbow, together with its first supernumerary, appears in a contrast-enhanced version of the photograph as broad green and blue-violet color bands within Alexander’s dark band between the primary and secondary rainbows. The red band of the quinary rainbow is obscured by the much brighter secondary rainbow. A comparison with a numerical simulation using the Debye series confirms that the color bands of the quinary rainbow appear at the expected location. The numerical simulation produces a good match with the photograph for a droplet radius of 0.46 mm. The green band of the quinary rainbow is even faintly discernible in the unprocessed photograph, suggesting that under exceptional viewing conditions the green band of the quinary rainbow may be observed visually with the aid of a polarization filter.
© 2014 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
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