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April 29, 2011

Who Can Figure Out What Is Wrong With This Photo? **ANSWER INCLUDED**

We had a brilliant display yesterday of double rainbows. I have attached a few images from a co-worker Steve Nally. I will tell you there is something very different between the primary rainbow closer to the ground and the secondary bow which is higher up. Can anyone figure out the difference???

 

Double bow 1 

 

Double bow 2 

 

More pictures from Kathy Robinson...

 

Rainbow 003 

 

Hmmmmm??????

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**SPOILER ALERT**

Answer Below

 

The pictures above show what we refer to as a double bow. That is two rainbows that share the sky and shape, but the secondary bow is always further away from the ground. To understand how a double bow works, you have to first understand how the primary bow is formed. We get rainbows when sunlight shines directly into a rain drop, then bounces off the back of the raindrop, and is reflected to your eyes. The water acts like a prism and spreads the light into the full spectrum of colors. When a secondary bow is formed, the light has to bounce twice off the back of the rain drop before it is reflected to your eyes. That means more light is muted by the rain drop (the cause of it being less bright) and like a mirror the colors are flipped backward to the primary rainbow since the light bounces off one more surface of the raindrop. So everytime the light bounces off the back of the drop, the reflection, much like a mirror, is flipped and reversed. This is same thing as when you look in a mirror everything looks backward. Here is a good illustration I drew up. Sorry if it is a bit crude. :)

 

Double Bow 

Comments

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The colors look opposite of each other...kinda a mirrored image???

the colors are inverted?

I know this one..a double rainbow is formed when there are two reflections inside a raindrop. So instead of reflecting off the back once, it will actually reflect twice. The secondary rainbow tends to be fainter than the first and it also displays the colors in the reverse order from the primary rainbow.

The colors are not in the same order.

Answer posted above!!! :)

so cool!! thanks for sharing!

the colors are oppisite of each other! red is at bottom of one and top of the other

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