Reversed Colour Mini-bow

Looking across the top of a Leylandii hedge after a shower I noticed the usual bright sparkles of colour at about 40 degrees from the sun. The intense blue of some of them was very obvious so I tracked down the drops causing them. The reason for the intense blue seems to be that the colours are reversed, with the blue lying on the outer edge, unlike the usual dispersion in a raindrop.

Reversed rainbow colours in a water drop Source of reversed colour bow

The blue edge is undiluted by the other colours which explains its pure colour. The drop forming it is on the right. The source is the image of the sun seen through the part of the drop where the curvature changes.

Reversed colour bow with supernumerary Source of reversed bow

Another drop showed faint red supernumeraries, formed by the drop on the right with a similar geometry.

Reverse colour bow with red supernumeraries

Another weaker example but with more obvious supernumeraries. The source drop wasn't identified but was in the same vicinity as the others.

Canon EOS 20D   15th June 2008
Wiltshire, England

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