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Rainbow Wikipedia

Rainbow Wikipedia

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Published by Boris Petrovic

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Published by: Boris Petrovic on Aug 21, 2009
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11/29/2012

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Rainbow
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. A
rainbow
is an optical andmeteorological phenomenonthat causes a nearly continuousspectrum of light to appear inthe sky when the sun shinesonto falling rain. It is amulticoloured arc with red onthe outside and violet on theinside. The full sequence of colours is most commonlycited as red, orange, yellow,green, blue, indigo, and violet,though it is important to notethat this is an inconsistent list;all primary and secondary colours are present in some form, but only onetertiary. It is commonly thought that indigo was included due to the differentreligious connotations of the numbers six and seven at the time of IsaacNewton's work on light, despite its lack of scientific significance and the poor ability of humans to distinguishcolours in the blue portion of the visual spectrum.The rainbow effect can be observed whenever there are water drops in the air and sunlight shining from behind theobserver at a low altitude or angle. The most spectacular rainbow displays when half of the sky is still dark withdraining clouds and the observer is at a spot with clear sky overhead. Another common place to see the rainboweffect is near waterfalls. Rainbow fringes can sometimes be seen at the edges of backlit clouds and as verticalbands in distant rain or virga. The effect can also be artificially created by dispersing water droplets into the airduring a sunny day.In a very few cases, a moonbow, or night-time rainbow, can be seen on strongly moonlit nights. As human visualperception for colour in low light is poor, moonbows are perceived to be white.
Physics of rainbows
The rainbow's appearance is caused by dispersion of sunlight as it is refracted by (approximately spherical)raindrops. The light is first refracted as it enters the surface of the raindrop, reflects off the back of the drop, and isagain refracted as it leaves the drop. The overall effect is that theincoming light is reflected back over a wide rangeof angles, with the most intense light at an angle of about 40°–42°, regardless of the size of the drop. Since thewater of the raindrops is dispersive, the amount that the sunlight is bent depends upon the wavelength (colour) of the light's constituent parts. Blue light is refracted at a greater angle than red light, but because the area of the back
Contents
1 Physics of rainbows
2 Rainbows in religion and mythology
3 Rainbows in literature
4 Remembering the sequence of colours
5 See also
6 References
7 External links
A rainbow arches over Florida.Rainbow arching over a paddock of cattle.
Side 1af 6Rainbow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia10-11-2005http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow
 
of the droplet has a focal point inside the droplet, the spectra crosses itself, and thus the red light appears higher inthe sky, and forms the outer colour of the rainbow. Contrary to popular belief, the light at the back of the raindropdoes not undergo total internal reflection; however, light that emerges from the back of the raindrop does not createa rainbow between the observer and the sun. This is because the emitted spectra there do not have a maximum of intensity, as the other visible rainbows do. Thus the colours blend together and do not form any rainbow.A rainbow does not actually exist at a location in the sky, but is an optical phenomenon whose apparent positiondepends on the observer's location. All raindrops refract and reflect the sunlight in the same way, but only the lightfrom some raindrops reaches the observer's eye. These raindrops are perceived to constitute the rainbow by thatobserver. Its position is always in the opposite direction of the sun with respect to the observer, and the interior isslightly brighter than the exterior. The bow is centred on the shadow of the observer's head, or more exactly at theantisolar point (which is below the horizon during the daytime), appearing at an angle of approximately 40°–42° tothe line between the observer's head and its shadow (this means that if the sun is higher than 42° the rainbow isbelow the horizon and cannot be seen unless the observer is at the top of a mountain or a similar vantage point).Similarly it is difficult to photograph the complete arc of a rainbow, which would require an angle of view of 84°.For a 35 mm camera, a lens with a focal length of 19 mm or less would be required, whilst most photographers areonly likely to have a 28 mm wide-angle lens. From an aeroplane one has the opportunity to see the whole circle of the rainbow, with the plane's shadow in the centre.Sometimes, a second, dimmer rainbow is seen outside the primary bow, caused by a double reflection of thesunlight inside the raindrops, and appears at an angle of 50°–53°. Because of the extra reflection, the colours of thebow are inverted compared to the primary bow, with blue on the outside and red on the inside. Alexander's band isan area of unlit sky lying between the primary and secondary bows.
Light rays enter from one direction (typically a straight line from thesun), reflect off the back of the raindrop, and fan out as they leave theraindrop. The light leaving the rainbow is spread over a wide angle, witha maximum intensity around 40°–42°.White light separates into different colourthe raindrop, as red light is refracted by aOn leaving the raindrop, the red rays havangle than the blue rays, produ
Side 2af 6Rainbow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia10-11-2005http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow
 
A triple rainbow is even more rarely seen. A few observers have reported seeing quadruple rainbows in which adim outermost arc had a rippling and pulsating appearance. These rainbows would appear on the same side of thesky as the sun, making them harder to spot.Occasionally, another beautiful and striking rainbow phenomenon could beobserved, consisting of several faint rainbows on the inner side of the primaryrainbow, and very rarely also outside the secondary rainbow. They are slightlydetached and have pastel colour bands that do not fit the usual pattern. Theyare known as supernumerary rainbows(http://www.sundog.clara.co.uk/rainbows/supers.htm), and their very existencewas historically a first indication of the wave nature of light.Other rainbow variants are ones produced when the sunlight reflects off a bodyof water before reaching the raindrops. This produces a reflection rainbow(http://www.sundog.clara.co.uk/rainbows/reflect.htm) which shares the sameendpoints as the normal one but encompasses a far greater arc when all of it isvisible. Reflection rainbows can exist for both the primary and secondary. Areflected rainbow is produced when light that has been reflected inside theraindrops reflects off a body of water before reaching the observer. It is not amirror image of the primary, being displaced from it to adegree dependent on the sun's altitude. In the image belowboth types can be seen. The reflection rainbow is faintly visible curving between the primary and secondary, andthe reflected rainbow can be seen in the water.The Persian astronomer Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi is thought to have first given afairly accurate explanation for therainbow phenomenon. Theodoric of Freiberg is also known to have given anaccurate theoretical explanation of therainbow in 1307; he postulated that whensunlight falls on individual drops of moisture, the rays undergo two
Some light reflects twice inside the raindrop before exiting to the viewer.When the incident light is very bright this can be seen as a secondaryrainbow, brightest at 50°–53°.A double rainbow features reversed c(secondary) bow.A contrast enhanced photographof a supernumerary rainbow,with additional green and purplearcs inside the primary bow.Primary and secondary rainbowsHalf circle rainbow
Side 3af 6Rainbow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia10-11-2005http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow

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