A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon caused by the reflection, refraction, and scattering of light in drops of water, resulting in a spectrum of light that appears in the sky and takes the shape of a multicolored circular arc. A rainbow is not something that can be touched or approached. It will disappear at the wrong angle. It is possible to see rainbows in the dew, fog, spray, mist and in the rain.
Because a rainbow is created by light shining through water, people see it differently depending on their point of view. So this means, every rainbow is unique to you!
It is believed that rainbows got their names because of their shape. The arc looks like a bow (as in bow and arrows) and it was usually raining when the phenomena occurred.
Because a rainbow is made of light, it is not a tangible object that can be felt, but rather a sight of beauty to be admired.
There are seven colors in white light, as identified by Sir Isaac Newton. The seven colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. The name Roy G Biv is an acronym to help people remember the seven colors. These colors are all present in a rainbow.
Rainbows are actually full circles that have no end.
Most rainbows are primary rainbows, with red on the outer edge and violet on the inner edge.
Because we usually see rainbows from the ground, only part of it is visible. If you were to see a rainbow from the sky, for instance from in an airplane, you may be able to see it full circle.
A double rainbow is present when a second rainbow, although much fainter, can be seen outside of the primary rainbow. The second rainbow will have its colors inverted.
Moonbows rainbows occur when the moon’s light reflects through the raindrop.
Alexander’s band is the name given to the dark sky located between the primary and secondary arcs. It was named after Alexander of Aphrodisias who was the first to describe the band in 200AD.
A person standing next to you is standing in a slightly different spot and sees the rainbow different because they see different raindrops.
On very rare occasions a third and even fourth rainbow can occur.
When the sun is lower, the rainbow will be higher in the sky.
On rare occasions the moon’s light will produce a rainbow effect at night, called a moonbow. Despite the fact that all we can see from earth is white light, all seven colors are really present.
The primary rainbow usually appears after a Rainstorm.
A fogbow is a faintly colored almost white rainbow that appears because of fog droplets and clouds.
These types of light and water phenomena are larger than typical rainbows.
You see more rainbows in tropical locations and by waterfalls.
No two people can see the exact same rainbow (unless it is a photographed rainbow) because even a slight change in angle will produce a different rainbow. So a person standing beside you will see a different rainbow than you.
Earth is the only planet in the solar system where rainbows are possible.
Rainbows are higher in the sky when the sun is lower in the sky, and they are lower in the sky when the sun is higher in the sky.
According to Greek mythology, the rainbow is a bridge between heaven and earth.
Winter rainbows are fairly scarce because the water droplets required for a rainbow freeze and fall to earth as snowflakes.
The ancient people of Serbia believed that the rainbow was the Storm God’s bow.
From an airplane a rainbow will appear as a circle. We can only see part of it on land.
The Greek epic poet, Homer, believed that Rainbows were made of a single color, Purple.
Rainbows have contributed to ancient myths. The Greeks believed that the rainbow provided a bridge between heaven and earth.
Supernumerary rainbows are also known as stacker Rainbows.
Rainbows are more commonly seen near waterfalls and in the tropical regions of the earth.
The radius of a Titan Rainbow would be about 49° instead of 42°.
Despite old folk tales about leprechauns and pots of gold at the end of rainbows, you can never reach the end of a rainbow.
Red rainbows are also called monochrome rainbows – formed after rainfall during sunrise or sunset.