Rainbows and Blue Skies

279 words | 1 page(s)

The lab conducted regarding “Rainbows and Blue Skies” resulted in the ability to see how both items are discovered, developed, and applied. Each of the two items have their own chemistry aligned with their formation.

Rainbows are a spectrum of light caused by water droplets. The rainbow’s ability to form in an arc-like shape comes from all of the colors having a common center. The sun reflects on the water droplets found within the rainbow. Typically, the sun is always behind a person when they see a rainbow and the center of the rainbow arc is always in the opposite direction of the sun. Of course, since the rainbow consists of water droplets, the rain always falls in direct course of the rainbow arc. So, why do people sometimes see a double rainbow? Simple, one rainbow is primary and the other is secondary. The two rainbows exist because of the way the ray of light is striking the water droplets in the rainbow. Rainbows do have an effect on the brightness of the sky. When looking through a rainbow the sky behind it looks brighter because of the mix of colors causing an overall white ray of light.

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Now, why does the sky look blue? It is similar to the same explanation as to why the sky looks bluer through a rainbow. Since the light from the Sun looks white, which is really because it is composed of multiple colors, the atmosphere acts as a prism to the sky, reflecting certain colors and thus creating a blue effect.

  • NASA. Why is the Sky Blue? 2015.
  • Programs, The National Center for Atmospheric Research & the UCAR Office of. About Rainbows. 2015.

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