What is the Shape of a Rainbow?
So, now you have two kinds of rainbows that people can see- both because of a very simple mechanism. But the question really is why are rainbow semi-circular? First of all are they semi-circular? But the truth is they are not. They are actually circular .If you are fortunate enough to be able to see a rainbow form sky in an aero plane; you would be able to see they are fully circular. So why aren’t we able to do that out here on the ground? Simply because half the rainbow gets obstructed by the earth. So the rainbow is forming, the remaining part of the rainbow wouldn’t have formed below the earth but we can’t see it. The horizon comes somewhere on the way. Or may be even the raindrops are not completely will be there. Now, one question’s answer? So what’s shape of the rainbow? It’s Circle. Second question-How far away is the rainbow? Now look at this .There is a particular angle at which sunlight should enter those raindrops for us to be able to see. Either a first order or a second order. So let’s take a first order. For example, there exists a particular angle at which the raindrops should be from us – for us to be able to see a rainbow through them. So there exist raindrops that are suitable for a rainbow. Now clearly any raindrop along that that angle will create a rainbow for us. But how many such raindrops exist? If the world was 2D – a flat plane – only one. But the world is 3-dimentioal. So If I were to take that and circle it around, what would you get? Compete cone. Every raindrop along that cone has or contributes to a rainbow. It is pretty much like this. If you are standing out there, a cone of raindrops away from you, each of those raindrops on that cone are creating a rainbow foil. Brilliant Right? So where exactly is the rainbow? Is it far away? Is it close by? It’s everywhere? Everywhere between you and the rainbow is the rainbow at that cone. So clearly on the second side of the rainbow, you have a larger rainbow and rainbow forms outside of it in a more divergent manner.. If you answer a few of these questions. There are many more have haven’t answered. Be curious and find out more about rainbows. tis simple mechanism but its magnificent.