A photographer captured stunning images of a rare “quintuple” rainbow arcing over Jersey Shore, N.J., late last week. Usually associated with TV show Jersey Shore and other unpleasantries, the beachfront had a nice, colourful display for a change.
John Entwistle was watching the sunset on Sept. 18 with his daughter when he captured what he thought was a “quintuple rainbow.”
“Rainbow Insanity. I could be wrong but that sure looks like a quintuple rainbow tonight over the Jersey Shore, NJ,” the photographer said on social media. “My daughter and I watched rainbows fade in and out for a half hour at sunset. Some of the brightest rainbow colors I’ve ever seen in my life!”
Turns out Entwistle actually captured a rare phenomenon known as a supernumerary rainbow.
“Another shot of the vibrant ‘supernumerary’ rainbows at sunset last night at the Jersey Shore, NJ,” the photographer said. “It was amazing to watch the colors get brighter and brighter and then fade away.”
READ MORE: British photographer captures ‘fogbow,’ a stunning image of a colourless rainbow
As the National Geographic Society notes, a supernumerary rainbow is the result of “complex interaction of light rays in an air mass with small, similarly sized water droplets.”
“A supernumerary rainbow is a thin, pastel-coloured arc usually appearing below the inner arch of a rainbow,” the geographic society explained.
Entwistle’s images of the rainbow have been shared and liked on social media thousands of times.