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Rainbow

by Tessa

The sun is behind you when you see a rainbow. The center of the circular arc of the rainbow is in the opposite direction to that of the sun. The rain is in the direction of the rainbow.

The rainbow is sunlight spread out into its spectrum of colors and diverted to the eye of the observer by water droplets. The rainbow is made up of 7 colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. The rainbow is actually a whole bunch of colors from red to violet, even more colors than the eye can see. Sunlight is made up of a whole range of colors that the eye can detect.

Sometimes we can see two rainbows at the same time. What causes this? The path of a ray of sunlight is reflected inside the raindrop. Not all of the energy of the ray escapes the raindrop after it is reflected once. Part of the ray is reflected again and travels along inside the drop to emerge from the drop.

The reflected rainbow may be considered as a combination of two rainbows produced by sunlight coming from two different directions - one directly from the sun, the other from the reflected image of the sun.

When the light is reflected at a certain angle, it becomes polarized. A reflection rainbow is one produced by the reflection of sun.



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