Did You Know?
A rainbow can be defined as a band of colors (from
red on the inside to violet on the outside) assembled as an
arc that is formed by reflection and refraction (or bending)
of the sun's rays inside raindrops. They appear when it is
raining in one part of the sky and sunny in another.
Some Interesting Facts about Rainbows
- When you see a rainbow...
- it is after rain. The sun is always behind you and
the rain in front of you when a rainbow appears, so the
center of the rainbow's arc is directly opposite the sun.
- Most people think...
- the only colors of a rainbow are red, orange,
yellow, green, blue,
indigo, and violet, but a rainbow is actually
made up of an entire continuum of colorseven colors
the eye can't see!
- We are able to see the colors of a rainbow because...
- light of different colors is refracted when it
travels from one medium, such as air, and into another-
-in this case, the water of the raindrops. When all the
colors that make up sunlight are combined, they look white,
but once they are refracted, the colors break up into the
ones we see in a rainbow.
- Every person...
- sees their own "personal" rainbow. When you look at
one, you are seeing the light bounced off of certain
raindrops, but when the person standing next to you
looks at the same rainbow, they may see the light
reflecting off other raindrops from a completely different
angle. In addition, everyone sees colors differently
according to light and how their eyes interpret it.
- You can never...
- actually reach the end of a rainbow, where a pot of
gold supposedly awaits. As you move, the rainbow that
your eyes see moves as well, because the raindrops are at
different spots in the atmosphere. The rainbow, then, will
always "move away" at the same rate that you are moving.