General Question

hiitisit's avatar

How are rainbows formed?

Asked by hiitisit (136 points ) November 16th, 2009

Make it simple for me, I’m lazy.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

erichw1504's avatar

When the Sun is shining and it is raining nearby, the light from the Sun reflects off of the rain, creating an arching color explosion!

I don’t know the science behind how the colors are produced or how it creates an actual arch

SpatzieLover's avatar

The sun must be in the West and there must be humidity in the upper atmosphere for a rainbow to be visible.

jaytkay's avatar

Some interesting points I found while Googling this.
—The sun will always be at your back when you look at a rainbow
—The shadow of your head will be at the center of the circle drawn by the rainbow. For illustration, see the page linked by erichw1504. In the first photo you can see the photographer’s shadow.
—The colors from top to bottom will be red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet (you may remember ‘ROY G BIV’ from high school physics)
—The violet edge is most intense, it gets a bit fainter as you move up to red
—A double rainbow has a second larger and dimmer bow surrounding the first. The second bow’s colors are reversed, from the ground up they are VIBGYOR.

CMaz's avatar

They only work when there is a pot of gold at the end of it.

erichw1504's avatar

No, they only work when there is a shooting star creating it… The more you know…

robmandu's avatar

By Thom Yorke and the genius that is Radiohead, natch.

faye's avatar

There is no more indigo, sigh

fireinthepriory's avatar

So I know that supposedly the sun will always be at your back when you look at a rainbow… however, while at a gay rights march in Washington, DC this fall there was a tiny rainbow that partially encircled the sun!!! It was so cool. And I’m also pretty sure that this phenomenon was proof that or the real cause of rainbows is gay people.

DrBill's avatar

I have several pictures of complete circle rainbows, (it can only be seen from an airplane).

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