6 Interesting Facts about Rainbows

It’s hard to see a rainbow and not feel a little giddy inside. Some of us even pause on our track to appreciate and swoon over the beauty of the mesmerizing belt of colours.

Rainbows are naturally stunning, like Northern lights and shooting stars—they’re just magical. But regardless how much we believe that there’s a pot of gold at one end of the rainbow, there is really nothing else but a beautiful sight while it lasts. Here are some more facts that you ought to know about this candy-colored phenomenon.

1. It’s an illusion.
Same with mirage, a rainbow is formed when the light rays bend and creates an effect as if it’s visible, but cannot be approached or touched. In the formation of rainbows, light is refracted and reflected through droplets of water, separating the white light from the colors of the spectrum.

2. It can be full circles, too.
The horizon is the object that cuts the full circle shape of the rainbow in half. Without a horizon, such as when skydiving or your view from an airplane, it is possible to see the entire circumference of the rainbow.

3. It can also occur at night.
When the light produced by the moon shines through droplets of water, the result is called a moon bow. Because the moon’s light is fainter than the sun’s, the bow of colors may appear fainter as well, but advanced cameras with long exposure can catch the bow’s colors brightly.

4. Aristotle is obsessed with rainbows.
The ancient Greek scientist and philosopher Aristotle was among the first people to seriously study about why and how rainbows are formed. He even devoted a significant part of Meteorology, Book III to this topic, and stressed that rainbows are made only with three colors, which was then proven wrong by succeeding studies made after his.

5. It has no exact number of colors.
Although Aristotle insisted that rainbows are only made with three colors, the real deal is that rainbows do not have exact number of hues. Each color blends into the next color without boundary, leaving the interpretation to the person viewing it and the culture that defined it. (So, I say there are 32 colors in there, who would judge?)

6. It can occur anywhere where sunlight meets water in the air.
Rainbows can form in waterfalls, mist, fog and anywhere where light meets water droplets and the angle allows for visible formation of colorful arches. Same thing with moon bows, although our eyes see it as white instead of colored arches.

Rainbows are stunning to the sight and are great ice breaker. Wow your friends the next time you pass by a beautiful arch of rainbow with these ‘did you know’ facts.

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