How Does A Rainbow Form?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Rainbows area one of the most pleasant benefits from our usual October shower-and-sunbreak pattern. But for rainbows to work, you have to have the sun behind you, and the rain in front of you.

The sun's light is made up of several colors ranging from red though green and into blue and violet. You see the sun's light as white because you're seeing all the colors combined.

But raindrops can act like a prism in separating the sun's light into its individual colors. Each individual color of light gets bent slightly different when it hits the raindrop, spreading out the colors into what you see as a rainbow.

Double rainbows occur when the sun's light gets refracted twice inside the same raindrop. Since some of the light has already escaped to make the first rainbow, double rainbows are generally dimmer. Their colors are also inverted.

For More Information:

http://www.teachercertification.org/teach/rainbow-resources.php

Your Photos

YouNews Sunday Images Sunday Images
These images were taken Sunday, December 14 with a Nikon D3100 and an Explore Scientific ED127 (Moon) and ED80 (M42
and M31).
YouNews Weekend Sky Weekend Sky
The images of M42 (Orion) and M31 (Andromeda) are short
stacks (lights only) taken Sunday evening with an Explore
Scientific ED80 (wide angle) telescope and a Nikon D3100 DSLR. The image of the moon was taken with an Explore Scientific ED127 (5-inch) refractor.