General Question

klaas4's avatar

Why are rainbows curved?

Asked by klaas4 (2186points) August 21st, 2007

Why not square?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

8 Answers

Jill_E's avatar

Great question..I believe it is the atmosphere...the view from where we are standing looking up that makes it curved.

Adina1968's avatar

They are curved so you can slide down them to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!! :-)

klaas4's avatar

Haha! Hilarious! :-)

synapse's avatar

It's due to the way light passes through the drops of moisture in the atmosphere.

Someone once told me they saw a rainbow from an airplane and it was a complete circle.

klaas4's avatar

That shoul'd have been an awsome view...

synapse's avatar


May we all be so fortunate, but that means you would have to have a window seat!!

GD_Kimble's avatar

Rainbows are perfect circles.
The half circle is an optical illusion created by the horizon.

mac316's avatar

Rainbows are formed by the refraction of light. The most commonly mentioned of angle is 42.5 degrees. Since this is dependent upon your position, the reflection is perceived to be a circle around a spot directly in front of you. If the horizon blocks part of the circle, you see only the bow.

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