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Double Rainbows! - trinalin thinks things through — LiveJournal
Double Rainbows!
Just got a phone call from mom a few minutes ago to tell me there was a double rainbow in the sky. So, being the science geek that I am, I took my digital camera with me and stood out on the back stoop taking photos.

Single Rainbow.
I managed to catch the double rainbow in all but this photo, which is a great photo of the "bow" shape.

Double Rainbow over the garage.
Here is a double rainbow over my garage. You can just see the secondary rainbow to the right of the main one.

Other side of Double Rainbow.
Here is the other side of the double rainbow.

The same, but with with a house in the background.
This shot has one of my neighbor's houses in shot to give a sense of scale.

Some interesting facts about rainbows (from your friendly neighborhood physics teacher):

  • Rainbows are complete circles, but the horizon usually gets in the way.

  • The sun (or other light source) must be behind you and the clouds/rain must be in front in order for you to see a rainbow.

  • Your eyes to the rainbow make a 42° angle.

  • Rainbows have both reflection *and* refraction occurring - one reflection in the water drop and two refractions.

  • Since different colors of light refract differently, the more times you can refract light, the more separated the colors become.

  • The secondary rainbow is due to a second reflection taking place in the droplets of water.

  • Notice how the secondary rainbow is fainter and has a reverse color order than the primary rainbow.

There's a lot more to be said for rainbows, but I'll let you find out about them yourselves.

Current Mood: enthralled enthralled

11 comments or Leave a comment
antiwesley From: antiwesley Date: March 29th, 2004 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

You know...

I never noticed that reverse color order thing in double bows before.
elsaf From: elsaf Date: March 29th, 2004 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's my science grrl...

Wanders off singing "Somewhere over the rainbow...."
dark_pheonix From: dark_pheonix Date: March 29th, 2004 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn Australian Sky *glares out window*

Very nice pictures though. I wonder if we could convince Sylv to dress as a leprechaun and sit at the end of the rainbow *Yes, I know they're circles, but who says we can confuse the poor man :D)
trinalin From: trinalin Date: March 29th, 2004 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ach! I didn't think to use my Leprechaun icon for this post!

For the non-St. Pat's day time of the year, I should replace this icon with one that doesn't say "Happy St. Pat's!"
dark_pheonix From: dark_pheonix Date: March 29th, 2004 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
You could say:

Happy Not St. Pats!

warinbabylon From: warinbabylon Date: March 29th, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I never noticed the reverse color on the second rainbow before...

Verrrry interesting.
barbthebrazen From: barbthebrazen Date: March 29th, 2004 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooo I love rainbows. I also love the fact that science has a pretty side, which is probably why I love geology so much. Yes sadly I am a mineral hound, not to mention enthusiastic spelunker.

Rocks you throw at rabbits, minerals you keep...

Also cave safely if you die we split your gear *grins wickedly*
trinalin From: trinalin Date: March 31st, 2004 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate to say it, but anything that smacks vaguely of Earth Science, I tend to forget. Not that much better about Life Science, though...
bob01 From: bob01 Date: March 29th, 2004 06:24 pm (UTC) (Link)


Its nice to know even though Im done with college I can still learn something:) Thanks and very cool pictures Trina

romana3 From: romana3 Date: March 29th, 2004 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Those pictures are really awesome!!
We had double rainbows today in Oxford Ohio today too. It was paired with a wonderful sunset too. Something good comes out of a rainy gloomy day!

From: (Anonymous) Date: March 31st, 2004 04:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

D-D-D-Double Vison

WOW... totally kewl pics. I love sky pics, clouds, rainbows, stars. Just AWSOME. This coming from your bird-brain friend in VA.

*takes flight*

See you later toots!!!!!!
11 comments or Leave a comment