Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rainbows, Water, and Light

There was an amazing rainbow on the way to work this morning.  I was unaware of how these delicate paintings in the sky come about and after some discussion and a bit of research found my long standing thought on where rainbows come from was incorrect, silly me.

I was under the impression rainbows were bits of pollution in the air and we only saw them on foul days, nope not even close.

Rainbows are caused by moisture and sun and always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun, which means if your back is to the sun on a damp day you are more likely to experience the phenomena of rainbows.   I wonder if Dorothy knew that when she left Kansas and ended up over the rainbow in Oz?

A rainbow is caused by light being refracted then reflected once in droplets of moisture which include water, mist, spray or airborne dew. This forms the big primary rainbows the one that may have the pot of gold at the end of them, just kidding.  In a double rainbow, the light is reflected twice in the droplet of water, this rainbow will not be as vivid as the primary rainbow and the color refraction will be inverted. I would have never figured out the part about the inverted color scheme.

According to the laws of physics an angle of 42 degrees is necessary to distinguish the colors.  You cannot walk under a rainbow expecting it to be above you to view, which would be an amazing sight.  A "rainbow" is not a physical object, and cannot be physically approached.

Do two people ever see the same rainbow? No. As the eyes of two people cannot occupy the same place in space at the same time, each observer sees a different rainbow. Why? Well, because the raindrops are constantly in motion so its appearance is always changing. Each time you see a rainbow, it is unique in its own spectacular way!

When I see rainbows I always smile and want to share the phenomenon with someone close by, “Hey look at that.” And then I want to know where my camera is, usually too far away to take the shot.

Somewhere over the rainbow,
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.    
Lyrics by Yip Harburg

Sending my heart felt wishes all of your dreams come true in 2012

God Bless,
Director of Member Services and Smiles
OurHealth Co-op, Inc

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