A rare double 'moonbow' formed during Sunday's supermoon -- and a photographer captured the incredible moment

Moonbow full moon rainbow copyright ben gwynne 159photography.Ben GwynneA rare photograph of a ‘moonbow’ photographed in northern England during the supermoon on Oct. 16, 2016.

The delight and surprise we feel after spotting a double rainbow arcing across the sky almost never wears off.

So imagine photographer Ben Gwynne’s shock while he photographed Sunday’s supermoon — and turned around to see a double moonbow.

Below is Gwynne’s photo of the relatively rare phenomenon, which he first posted about on Facebook (and we first saw at the BBC).

The UK-based professional photographer snapped the image over a field in northern England at 7:38 p.m. as fog rolled through the area.

Sunlight did not directly cause the rainbow, since it was well after dark. Moonlight — which was beaming from low on the horizon, opposite of the moonbow — refracted off droplets of water in the fog, splitting into a rainbow of colours.

“I’d never seen one before and getting to photograph it was amazing,” Gwynne told the BBC.

“There may have been a couple of [curses],” too, Gwynne told Business Insider via Facebook Messenger.

Gwynne set his camera to capture a long exposure, which helped saturate the subtle lighting and colours. It also brought out the double moonbow hovering above the main arc, plus some orange-coloured light pollution.

Sunday night’s full moon was a supermoon, or when the moon swings closest to Earth in its monthly and slightly elliptical orbit. Technically called “perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system,” supermoons are not only a bit brighter than typical full moons, but they can also cause stronger ocean tides and weather events.

The next supermoon is November 14, 2016 (the closest supermoon since 1948), and after that there’s one December 13, 2016. (We wish you luck in seeing a moonbow.)

Sunday’s full moon also earned the name of a Hunter’s moon and a blood moon, which are just two more of the dozens of names we ascribe to lunar phases.

Rebecca Harrington contributed to this post.

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