Science is so interesting! And though I love to make all science fun–rainbows are just plain old fun to start with!
Kermit the Frog sang the question, “Why are there so many songs about rainbows and what’s on the other side?” Judy Garland is famous for singing “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” although I enjoy Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s version even more. So, why are there so many songs about rainbows? Why does seeing a rainbow bring joy and hope to people?
After all, a rainbow is just the light spectrum in the shape of an arc. The colors are revealed in the opposite direction of the sun when light is refracted within a droplet of water, then reflected on the back of the droplet and refracted once again when exiting the droplet. But did you know that all rainbows are in fact circles? Why do we not see them that way? The rainbow’s true structure runs into the ground or horizon.
You may also have been told that there are seven colors to a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. In fact, there are almost a million colors in the rainbow. These are just the big ones in our visible spectrum range.
Sometimes, you may see more than one rainbow—multiples can occur. When light gets reflected twice inside the water droplets, a second fainter rainbow appears above the main one. Look closely and you’ll see that the colors are reversed! Now the red line is at the bottom and violet is on top.
So, why are there so many songs about rainbows? Because they are so interesting! You can celebrate this day by creating your own rainbow using a garden hose or a prism. Or sing one of those rainbow songs linked above!