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Urban Rainbow, Kobe, Japan

Island Arcs Photograph by Kenneth Garrett, National Geographic Seen from the sky, a double rainbow seems to touch down on reefs off the Yucatán Peninsula (map).

Yellowknife Lights Photograph by Kwon O. Chul, TWAN A neon green aurora is reflected in the waters off Yellowknife, Canada, in a newly released picture. Although best seen in clear, dark skies, auroras are products of the sun: When charged solar particles hit Earth's atmosphere, they infuse air molecules with extra energy, which then gets released as light.

Storm Clouds and Rainbow Photograph by Marcelo Dapino, My Shot The storm lasted about one minute.

Tundra Rainbows Photograph by Joel Sartore Rainbows brighten Alaska's tundra, parts of which are estimated to hold millions of barrels of oil. The tundra is also home to caribou, an important source of sustenance in regions such as Alaska's North Slope.

Rainbow Over Soybean Field Photograph by Raymond Gehman A storm leaves a colorful mark across the Pennsylvania sky. Soybean fields, like the one pictured here, are common in Pennsylvania.

Tanzania Rainbow Photograph by Carsten Peter Rainbows frame a peculiar lava formation at Ol Doinyo Lengai, a volcano in Tanzania. Maasai goddess Eng'al, who signals her wrath with eruptions and drought, is said to inhabit the summit.

Australian Rainbow Photograph by Randy Olson A double rainbow frames termite mounds in Australia's grasslands. Double arcs happen when light is reflected more than once in an atmospheric water droplet.

Alaska Highway Rainbow Photograph by Raymond Gehman Like a portal to wild spaces, a double rainbow hangs over the Alaska Highway in British Columbia, Canada. While rainbows display a brilliant array of colors, most of the radiation in the universe, from very long wavelengths picked up by radios to ultrashort ones seen by special x-ray and gamma-ray detectors, lies outside the rainbow of visible light.

Rainbow Car Photograph by Paul Nicklen The end of a rainbow spotlights a solitary car traveling down a remote road in North America. Since a rainbow is an optical illusion, it doesn't have an actual endpoint. Instead, a rainbow's position continually shifts depending on the viewer's perspective.

Arctic Rainbow Photograph by Paul Nicklen A rainbow is reflected in Arctic icy waters in Canada's Foxe Basin. Data from submarines suggest that Arctic sea ice has thinned by 40 percent in the past 30 years. As more water is exposed, the upper ocean absorbs more sunshine, speeding up the decline.

Northern Canada Aurora Photograph by Norbert Rosing A cascade of rose-tinted light surges through the sky in an aurora borealis over northern Canada.

Yellowknife Aurora Photograph by Paul Nicklen Light from an aurora borealis swirls over Yellowknife, the capital of Canada's Northwest Territories.

North Pole Aurora Photograph by Maria Stenzel An emerald green aurora borealis veils the sky over the North Pole.

Canada Aurora Photograph by Raymond Gehman A long exposure shows star trails behind a red-and-green aurora in Canada's Northwest Territories. In the Northern Hemisphere, the phenomenon is called aurora borealis, or northern lights. In the Southern Hemisphere, it's called aurora australis, or southern lights.

Northern Lights, Manitoba, Canada Photograph by Norbert Rosing The aurora borealis forms a green curtain above Wapusk National Park in Manitoba, Canada. See photographs from the December 2005 National Geographic story "Refuge in White."

Aurora Borealis Photograph by Norbert Rosing The northern lights spotlight evergreens in Canada.

Aurora Borealis, Northwest Territories Photograph by Raymond Gehman A subdued aurora fills the sky above the Mackenzie River in Canada’s Northwest Territories.