Rainbow is a natural arch of colors and sunlight is found in the sky, mostly in the form of rays. In nature, a rainbow is formed when light passes through water droplets or ice crystals. Light refracts according to its wavelength, with red light having the longest wavelength and violet having the shortest. Colors appear on either side of this spectrum. The colors in a rainbow can be arranged according to their order of appearance: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The resulting colors can be seen in one big arc across the sky or sometimes even farther apart in several arcs.
If you are a rainbow lover, then you must have a lot of curiosity behind the amazing rainbow you see. Let’s take a look at the article because we have some interesting rainbow facts that will broaden your knowledge. From the simple science behind the phenomenon to the unique rainbow facts that happen around the world, those facts below will definitely blow your mind!
Table of Contents
- 1. You Can Never Get To The End of Rainbow
- 2. Rainbow Is Actually Full Circle
- 3. You Are Less Likely To See Rainbows In Winter
- 4. Double Rainbow Appears When Light Is Reflected Twice In A Raindrop
- 5. Earth Is The Only Planet In The Solar System With Rainbows
- 6. The Greeks Believed Rainbows As God’s Path In The Past
- 7. The Longest-observed Rainbow Lasted Almost 9 Hours
- 8. No Two People See The Exact Same Rainbow At The Same Time
- 9. The Origin Of The Name Rainbow
- 10. Rainbows Always Appear Opposite To The Sun
1. You Can Never Get To The End of Rainbow
Because a rainbow is somewhat of an optical illusion, you cannot reach its end. Raindrops behave like tiny prisms to create a rainbow. The rain dispersed light into colored bands. Millions of droplets in the sky are positioned at various angles, creating the rainbow’s colors. Your eyes can see the hues created by the sunshine being split by these raindrops.
You can never reach the end of a rainbow if you’re the kind of person who looks for a pot of gold every time you see one. When you move, the rainbow will follow you since a rainbow depends on the orientation of the observer and the light source. What a mind blowing rainbow fact!
2. Rainbow Is Actually Full Circle
You can only see the traditional semi-circular rainbow from the ground. However, you can genuinely view a rainbow as a whole circle when you’re in an airplane and looking down below! In reality, rainbows are complete circles. The circle’s center is the antisolar point.
Everyone has a slightly different horizon, thus nobody actually sees a whole rainbow from the ground up. These circular rainbows can occasionally be seen by viewers in aircraft. Of course, if the weather conditions are ideal. On the ground, however, all that is visible is the light that is reflected from the raindrops above the horizon.
3. You Are Less Likely To See Rainbows In Winter
Why is it that rainbows are less often in the winter? Let this rainbow fact give you the precise answer: It is because of the snow! A rainbow is created when light passes through a spectrum, usually a group of raindrops, and is then split up and refracted into different hues. However, when it is below freezing in the upper atmosphere during the winter, droplets turn into snow. This prevents a rainbow from appearing by obstructing light from penetrating the drop or snowflake.
Because there must be both sunshine and rain, which results in water droplets in the air, rainbows are most frequent in the summer and fairly rare throughout the winter. Rainbows frequently happen like this in the summer.
4. Double Rainbow Appears When Light Is Reflected Twice In A Raindrop
The beauty of a double rainbow is that you get two magnificent natural displays for the price of one. When sunlight is reflected twice within a raindrop, a double rainbow is created, with the violet light reaching the observer’s sight from the higher raindrops and the red light from the lower raindrops. It happens when light that has been refracted bounces off a raindrop not once, but twice, creating a secondary rainbow with inverted colors.
Rarely do two rainbows appear at the same moment. The primary rainbow is the first and brightest rainbow. The secondary rainbow is the second, less striking one. Additionally, the secondary rainbow spans a larger portion of the sky. Its width is over two times that of the primary bow.
5. Earth Is The Only Planet In The Solar System With Rainbows
Another rainbow fact that you may never know, earth is the only place in the solar system where you can see a rainbow. Sunlight and raindrops are necessary for the creation of a rainbow. In fact, no other planet is known to contain liquid water on its surface or enough of it in the atmosphere to cause rain at this time.
Yes, there are perpetual gas hurricanes on Jupiter, and there may even be frozen water on Mars. However, as far as we are aware, Earth is the only planet in our solar system that can produce rainbows. This is due to the fact that only Earth experiences continuous liquid precipitation and direct sunshine. Scientists speculate that liquid methane rain storms may exist on Titan, a moon of Saturn, but the atmosphere is so murky that it is improbable that enough sunlight will pass through the methane drops to produce a rainbow.
6. The Greeks Believed Rainbows As God’s Path In The Past
The rainbow served as the ancient Greek goddess Iris’ personification, and numerous works of art genuinely show her taking the appearance of a rainbow. Greek mythology describes Iris, the female counterpart of the messenger god Hermes, as using her pitcher to gather water and throw it into the clouds where it would condense into a rainbow. The gods and goddesses’ home on Mount Olympus and the Earth were connected by her rainbow at that point.
She acts as a conduit for divine messages to the human world in numerous tales, including the Iliad, creating a connection between heaven and earth. Iris frequently sent messages about battle and vengeance. Of course, rainbow science has advanced over the ages; we now understand what a rainbow is.2
7. The Longest-observed Rainbow Lasted Almost 9 Hours
Here’s the interesting rainbow fact which breaks the world record! In 2017, instructors and students at the Chinese Culture University in Taipei, Taiwan, high in the mountains, saw a rainbow lasting 8 hours, 58 minutes, from 6:57 am to 3:55 pm. The longest rainbow seen before this one was over Sheffield, England, in 1994. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, that rainbow appeared from around 9:00 am until 3:00 pm.
There were actually four rainbows, including two primary rainbows and two supernumerary rainbows. A seasonal north-east monsoon that retained moisture in the air and created clouds, along with sunlight and a comparatively modest wind speed of 2.5–5 meters per second, were the factors that caused the rainbow to last so long. The university is situated in Taipei’s Yangmingshan mountain range, where such atmospheric conditions are typical in winter, making it an excellent location for witnessing long-lasting rainbows.
8. No Two People See The Exact Same Rainbow At The Same Time
Even if you and a friend are standing side by side admiring a rainbow, you won’t be witnessing the same rainbow. This is due to the fact that a rainbow is entirely an optical phenomenon. Each individual’s perception of its exact form, arc, and color band width will produce tiny variations in the rainbow’s appearance.
According to LiveScience, the light that is reflecting off certain raindrops to create your rainbow is reflecting off other raindrops at an entirely different angle for someone else. In other words, no two people can be in the exact same place at the same moment to see the same rainbow. Thus it’s producing a different image.
9. The Origin Of The Name Rainbow
From this fascinating rainbow fact, you will learn the etymology of rainow. The Latin term “arcus pluvius,” which means a “rainy arch,” is the source of the English word “rainbow.” The Old English term “renboga,” which is derived from the words “regn,” which means “rain,” and “boga,” which means “something bent or arched,” is where the word “rainbow” originates. Because of how resembling an archer’s bow it has, it is termed a rainbow. It is a universal representation of harmony, peace, and rekindled optimism.
Moreover, a German monk by the name of Theodoric found the real scientific explanation for the rainbow in 1304. He observed the behavior of sunlight as it moved through a huge water-filled globe. He recorded the processes of reflection and refraction that take place as sunlight passes through raindrops.
10. Rainbows Always Appear Opposite To The Sun
You probably never noticed this rainbow fact: When sunlight strikes drops, it is refracted and completely internally reflected, resulting in the spectrum that emerges from the drop. As a result, it always forms on the sun’s dark side. The refraction of light by minute water droplets causes a rainbow to appear.
When light is refracted at an exact 42-degree angle in the opposite direction of the Sun, a rainbow arch becomes visible to the human eye. We can see the seven bands of white light with our unaided eyes because of this angle’s refraction of light. The rainbow will be visible higher in the sky when the Sun is lower in the sky.
11. Issac Newton Identified Seven Colors Of Rainbow Using Prism
Here’s the historical rainbow fact that all rainbow lovers should know: Isaac Newton, a scientist, provided the explanation for how a rainbow forms. He named the visible electromagnetic spectrum’s seven colors, which collectively make up white light. These seven hues—which appear in a rainbow in the same order—are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
With a prism set up close to his window, Newton was able to project a stunning spectrum 22 feet away onto the opposite wall. He also refracted the light back together to demonstrate that the prism was not tinting it. Newton’s unmistakable proof that color is only caused by light captivated artists.
12. Fogbows Appear In Very Faint Colors
White rainbows, cloud bows, and ghost rainbows are among other names for fogbows. They are created using the same combination of sunshine and moisture as rainbows. When raindrops are in the air, rainbows form. A rainbow can always be seen facing away from the sun. Fogbows are similar to rainbows in that they always face the opposite direction of the sun, however fogbows are brought on by smaller raindrops or fog instead of bigger ones.
Similar to a rainbow, a “fogbow” is produced by cloud and fog droplets that have very weak hues and have the appearance of being nearly white. However, it is considerably bigger and broader than a rainbow. When the sun is shining, search for fogbows in a light fog. When the sun finally shines through a fog, you could glimpse one. Or keep an eye out for fogbows over the water.
13. Moonbow, A Rare Nighttime Rainbow
Moonbows, also known as nighttime rainbows or lunar rainbows, are uncommon lunar rainbows that appear when the moonlight shines through a raindrop. Moonbows are more uncommon than rainbows because a number of climatic and astronomical factors must coincide for them to form. No higher than 42 degrees from the horizon, the Moon must be quite low in the sky. It will appear during a full moon or a moon that is almost full only.
Moonbows typically appear spooky-white rather than the well-known rainbow colors and are far less powerful than solar rainbows. A moonbow truly contains every color in the rainbow, but because moonlight is far less bright than sunshine, human eyes have difficulty distinguishing the different hues.
14. Red Rainbow Is The Rarest Rainbow During Sunrise Or Sunset
A monochrome or red rainbow is a rare variation of the more typical colorful rainbow and an optical and meteorological event. The mechanism by which it forms is the same as for a regular rainbow. However, for a monochrome rainbow, the sun must be low in the sky, such as at sunrise or sunset.
The sun’s low angle causes its light to travel farther through the atmosphere, scattering shorter wavelengths of light like blue, green, and yellow and leaving mostly red. A monochromatic rainbow can have a very dramatic effect in the lower light environment where the phenomenon most frequently appears.
15. Hawaii Has The Most Rainbows On Earth
An interesting rainbow fact, the state of Hawaii is known as the “State of Rainbow”! You can expect to witness some breathtaking sights and rainbows if you come here. In Hawaii, a rainbow is a common sight, especially when it rains. In the Hawaiian Islands, rainbow sightings are caused by a mix of persistent cloud cover, trade winds, hilly topography, and clean air.
The trade winds that originate from the ocean are forced to climb and chill by the mountain peaks. This produces rain showers and openings for the sun to shine through in the clouds. Because the area is removed from pollution, Hawaii is known for its very clean marine air and pristine atmosphere. Strong sunshine is a result of the clean air, and a colorful rainbow is also a result of strong sunlight.