AUG 11, 2017 9:19 AM PDT

Here's Something You Didn't Know About Rainbows

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


Did you know that you never see the same rainbow as somebody else? That's because you view the rainbow from a different angle than others, which means you see the light interacting with completely different water droplets than the person next to you.

Another thing you might not have known about rainbows is that they form complete circles. Although they look like arcs (half-circles) most of the time, this is because the ground cuts off your line of sight with the rest of the rainbow.

NASA explains, "from the air, the entire 360º circle of a rainbow is more commonly visible."

Because water droplets are more prevalent in higher altitudes of the atmosphere, you'll also notice that rainbows are their strongest in the sky. As you follow their arcs down to the sides, they begin to fade from view because of the lack of water droplets at lower altitudes.

Rainbows exist because as light moves through water droplets, the water distorts the light. In some cases, the distortion can even cause "double" rainbows.

Physics makes rainbows possible, so after reading this, perhaps you will have a newfangled respect for these beautiful shows of nature.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Reusable Chinese Space Craft Lands Returns Earth
SEP 08, 2020
Reusable Chinese Space Craft Lands Returns Earth
The Chinese government has announced the safe return of a reusable spacecraft, called Chongfu Shiyong Shiyan Hangtian Qi ...
OCT 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Water Found on Moon Enough to Sustain a Lunar Base
OCT 29, 2020
Water Found on Moon Enough to Sustain a Lunar Base
For the first time, scientists have found water on the moon's sunlit surface. Coupled with other evidence of water i ...
NOV 06, 2020
Space & Astronomy
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
NOV 06, 2020
300 Million Planets in the Milky Way May Be Habitable
Researchers have found that there could be at least 300 million habitable worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. This could mea ...
NOV 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Detect Origin of Fast Radio Burst in Milky Way
NOV 07, 2020
Scientists Detect Origin of Fast Radio Burst in Milky Way
Scientists have identified a burst of cosmic radio waves- intense flashes of radio emission that last just a few millise ...
FEB 19, 2021
Plants & Animals
What can Lemurs Teach us About Love?
FEB 19, 2021
What can Lemurs Teach us About Love?
Although not entirely accurate, romantic sentiments such as "you're my lobster" or "you're my pen ...
MAR 18, 2021
Space & Astronomy
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
MAR 18, 2021
There May Be More Water-Rich Planets than Previously Thought
Researchers have hypothesized that a certain mechanism may mean there are many more water-rich planets with atmospheres ...
Loading Comments...