install theme

Two People Never See The Same Rainbow—And 6 More Amazing Facts About The Optical Phenomenon | Huffington Post | Click images to enlarge & read descriptions.

Think you learned everything there is to know about rainbows back in grade school? Think again.

Yes, a rainbow occurs when light passes through water droplets in the atmosphere, and the bending of light results in the familiar arc-shaped spectrum. But there’s a lot more to know — keep reading for a list of seven fascinating facts about rainbows. 

  • FACT: Rainbows are rarely seen at noon.

Rainbows are more common in mornings and evenings. To form a rainbow, sunlight needs to strike a raindrop at around 42 degrees. That’s unlikely to happen if the sun is higher than 42 degrees in the sky, according to the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

  • FACT: Rainbows can appear at night.

But rainbows that do appear after dark are called moonbows. That makes sense, because the light rays being bent come from reflections off the moon instead of directly from the sun.

  • FACT: Two people never see the same rainbow.

The light bouncing off certain raindrops for your rainbow is bouncing off other raindrops from a completely different angle for someone else, according to LiveScience. And so it’s creating a different image — basically, no two people can stand in the same exact spot at the same time to view the same rainbow.

  • FACT: You can never reach the end of a rainbow.

Rainbows appear to move as you move, because the light that forms the rainbow does so at a specific distance and angle from the observer — so that distance will always remain between you and your rainbow.

  • FACT: You can’t see all the colors of a rainbow.

Beyond those classic 7 colors (ROYGBIV), a rainbow is actually made up of a larger continuum of more than 1 million colors — including colors the human eye cannot see.

  • FACT: Double, triple and even quadruple rainbows sometimes occur.

More than one rainbow can be viewed at once when light bounces around inside a water droplet, and is split into its constituent colors, according to National Geographic. Double rainbows are produced when this happens inside a droplet twice, triple when it happens three times, and (see where this is going) quadruple when it happens four times.

  • FACT: You can make a rainbow disappear.

As Discover magazine points out, polarized sunglasses can block a rainbow. That’s because they are coated with a layer of vertically aligned molecules, and light reflecting off water is polarized horizontally. Watch the peculiar phenomenon in the video below.

591 notes
comments powered by Disqus

591 notes


, #rainbow #rainbows #science #earth #colours #light #polarized rainbow #polarized
  1. duckduckcrucio reblogged this from ah-thenah
  2. silent-rhymes reblogged this from trans-vegan
  3. vanesa reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  4. contemplatingthesky reblogged this from polly-cake
  5. pizzareea reblogged this from jmfnsparks
  6. cabrillobeach reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  7. melodicalsmash reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  8. a-considerate-clown reblogged this from starringmeacomplicatedlovestory
  9. chihayacutie reblogged this from starringmeacomplicatedlovestory
  10. starringmeacomplicatedlovestory reblogged this from secondthanksgivingsandwiches
  11. secondthanksgivingsandwiches reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  12. 3-ethyl-4-methylhexane reblogged this from variscites-chem
  13. enjolradz reblogged this from coreycottontail
  14. chiefwaspyyoh reblogged this from dtpokemonkid
  15. dtpokemonkid reblogged this from whoknewwhattodo
  16. whoknewwhattodo reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  17. fresheyedexplorer reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  18. polymethodic reblogged this from ajora
  19. ajora reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  20. homosapiensense reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  21. itspronouncedjesus reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  22. brontawhoreus reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  23. scienceandotherstuff reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  24. jmfnsparks reblogged this from stokelyrainbow
  25. ari04s reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  26. decadentscience reblogged this from ah-thenah
  27. ah-thenah reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  28. riario reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  29. boing345brooke reblogged this from thescienceofreality
  30. thelittlestclaire reblogged this from atomstargazer
^