We're most familiar with rainbows shooting through the sky on rainy days but have you ever had the rare pleasure of seeing a moonbow at night? Spotted first at So Super Awesome, and similar to a fire rainbow, a moonbow is a colorful optical phenomenon in the sky that strays from the customary rainbow. What separates a moonbow from other variations of rainbows is that it only occurs under specific circumstances under the moonlight.

For the best chances of viewing a moonbow, which also goes by the alternative names lunar rainbow and space rainbow, the moon needs to be at its brightest and lowest against a dark and rainy winter night sky. The closer to a full moon, the better your chances are, though its appearance is also time-sensitive. Even when these explicitly detailed requirements are fulfilled, there's only a 2 to 3 hour window to view the unique occurrence that typically takes place just before sunrise. Luckily a selection of photographers, some of which chase after these sort of elemental phenomenons, have captured their uncommon materialization.

Top photo by Colin Blackburn

Photo by Pierre Lesage

Photo by Martin McKenna

Photo by Garry Schlatter

Photo by Andrew Bretherick

Photo by J Carlos Villasante

Photo by gi-el

Photo by VerseVend

Photo by Jo Bradford

Photo by Shad Giordano

via [So Super Awesome]

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