Rainbow, do you know how it is formed? The scientific explanation

Rainbow between myth and legend, a physical, optical and atmospheric phenomenon explained by science: let’s go and see all its peculiarities

Rainbows – Pixabay – collage by horizonnergia.it


L’rainbow assumes different meanings related to deitiesto creation, but also and above all to connection between worlds. It never seemed like a coincidence perfect color combination. A marvel of nature, a show of beauty and harmony that leaves you speechless. And it always has intrigued the human being.

Loaded with symbolic meaningthrough myths and legends every culture has an evocative representation of it. Link between heaven and earth, bridge between two dimensions, evocative of prosperity, spirituality and magic. A two-headed dragon in China, or a bifrost bridge in Norse culture, in each case provides a link between the spiritual and earthly world.

Rainbow: a simple physical phenomenon

rainbow physical phenomenon refraction
Rainbow – Pixabay – OrizzontEnergia.it

From‘Ireland comes the legend, perhaps better known, with material implications that sees a pot of gold and a cobbler gnome called Leprechaun, guardian of the treasure placed at the base of the rainbow. A harbinger of good news, coming after rain and bad weather, the phenomenon of the rainbow is from always associated with peace and serenitysuch as fertility et al good luck. And the beautiful colored stripes todayhave taken on the meaning of unity, peace and hope, in opposition to wars, violence.

There science puts us back down to earth by explaining that in reality the rainbow is an atmospheric optical phenomenon, made up of many tiny prisms which are nothing but drops of water. The phenomenon gives rise to an almost continuous spectrum of light in the sky where the sunlight itself passes through the suspended drops after or during a storm, or near water. In fact, the phenomenon also occurs near a fountain or waterfall.

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There sunlight scatters and is reflected and refracted within the very small ones droplets of water and the wonderful result and composition of the rainbow. It is an evanescent phenomenon, which manifests itself only when you are in a certain position with respect to the Sun, which must be behind us and the angle of its rays as they strike the drops is about 40°.

The Rainbow and all its colors

L’angle of the sun’s rays as they hit i prisms represented by our tiny drops of water, is crucial for the color perception of the rainbow. The amount of refracted light depends on its wavelength and therefore on its color. Each color is made up of waves of various lengths.

Seven colors appear in the sky to form a continuous band with the perception of being merged with each other. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The order is always the same due to the ways in which sunlight is refracted. The sun’s ray penetrating a drop of water splits by refraction into the rays of the various colors of the spectrum. THE rays are then reflected giving us a real one colorful magic.

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In reality the spectrum of chromatic nuances of which the rainbow is made is a lot wider, but the human eye and brain are not able to perceive them all. This happens because the White light, formed by the set of all colors, comes decomposed in its colored components, i.e. the different wavelengths. There separation of the individual components it appears to us as the well-known colored bands perceived in the 7 colors of the rainbow.

Rainbow, do you know how it is formed? The scientific explanation