What Makes A Rainbow?
Rainbows appear when the Sun is shining and it’s raining at the same time. That doesn’t happen very often.
A rainbow is made by light bouncing back to you from the insides of raindrops. Ordinary light, like that from a light bulb or from the Sun, is called white light. White light is actually a mixture of seven colors. Light bends when it passes through water. Each color bends a different amount. When white light enters a raindrop, the colors get separated. The white light splits into seven colors that you can see.
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These seven colors always appear in the same order:
- Indigo (bluish-purple)
- Violet (purple).
Home Made Rainbow?
You don’t have to wait to see rainbows—you can make them. It’s easy. Go out with a spray bottle on a sunny day. Stand with the Sun behind you and spray water into the air. You should see your very own rainbow!
Sometimes you see two rainbows, a bright one inside a faint one. Here’s why double rainbows form. When light enters a raindrop, a lot of it bounces off the back surface of the drop. This light comes back out of the drop and makes a bright rainbow. Some light, however, bounces around inside the raindrop a couple more times before it manages to escape. This smaller amount of light makes the faint second rainbow. Every rainbow is actually a double rainbow, but the bigger one is usually too dim to see.
What is at the End of a Rainbow?
It looks as though rainbows touch the ground at each end. People sometimes say there’s a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Unfortunately, you can never get to the end of a rainbow. You can’t see a rainbow when you’re too close to it. The light comes at you from the wrong angle. If you move toward a rainbow it just seems to get farther away and disappear.
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