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6 amazing things city dwellers miss out on

By: EB Solomont on Nov. 1, 2010, 12:19 p.m.
A moonbow silhouettes a tree

Photo: normalityrelief/Flickr

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Night sky

The light from big cities is known to obscure star-gazing for many urban dwellers. But the high wattage from skyscrapers and office buildings is an obstacle for another nighttime phenomenon: the lunar rainbow.

Sometimes called a moonbow, the band of colors is a nocturnal rainbow produced by light — in this case, from a full moon — as it passes through water droplets.

To be fair, not every country mouse sees these ethereal and colorful moonbows on a nightly basis. Moonbows can be seen when the moon is full and low-hanging, on inky black nights when it's raining (or near a waterfall). And they're most common in a handful of places, such as Cumberland Falls in Kentucky; Durham, N.C.; Waimea on Hawaii's Big Island; and Victoria Falls on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.