What is a rainbow?


What is a rainbow?

A rainbow is an arc-like multi-coloured structure seen in the sky during particular atmospheric conditions. Rainbow is made up of seven colours, from inside to outside they are violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red, also known as VIBGYOR.

Why do we see the rainbow?

  • A rainbow is formed when sunlight passes from water droplets (the denser material) to air and as it is reflected, the sunlight splits up into its component wavelengths, thus forming the seven forming of the rainbow.

Why is a rainbow made up of seven colours?

  • Light travels in a form of waves.
  • Each wave has different wavelengths.
  • Some waves have a short wavelength as compared to others, whereas some have a greater wavelength.
  • Normally light with different waves appear as different coloured light to us.
  • The natural light which we see is actually made of light of all the seven different wavelengths of the rainbow.
  • When sunlight passes through a raindrop, it slows down a little bit as it moves from air to the denser material, water. As the light passes through the water droplet, it is reflected and therefore separated into each of its component colours or wavelengths.
  • The reason for the separation of sunlight into seven colours is because the lights of different wavelengths are bent by the water droplet to different degrees and due to this variation, each colour is separated distinctly. As a result, we can see seven distinct colours in a rainbow.

What are the types of rainbow?

  • Primary Rainbow- This is the most common type of rainbow. Occurs because of the bending of light from a raindrop.
  • Secondary Bow or Double Bow – Sometimes, another faint rainbow is visible just above the actual rainbow. This fainter rainbow is called a Double Bow. It occurs when there is double bending of light inside a raindrop due to which the second rainbow is reflected at a different angle than the first/primary rainbow. Secondary rainbows are fainter and the colours are in reverse order i.e., red is at the bottom and violet is at the top.
  1. Everyone has a different view of a rainbow based on their own mind and degree of watching.
  2. Rainbows are actually circular with no end.
  3. Rainbows are sometimes used to symbolize peace.

Related Questions:

  1. What is the difference between primary and secondary rainbow?
  2. Why are rainbows formed?
  3. What are the constituent colours of sunlight?

True or False:

  1. A rainbow is triangular in shape.
  2. Rainbow is seen in seawater.
  3. Rainbow has 13 colours.
  4. Double Rainbow occurs when there is double bending of light in a raindrop.
  5. Primary Bow has colours in the normal pattern of VIBGYOR from outside to inside.

Objective Quiz:

  1. A rainbow is  ________ structure.
    1. Arc like.
    2. Triangle like.
    3. Square like.
    4. None of the above.
  2. A rainbow occurs because of ________ through a raindrop.
    1. Bending of a light wave.
    2. Straight passing of light wave.
    3. No passing of light wave.
    4. Blocking of a light wave.
  3. There is a total of _________ colors present in rainbow.
    1. One.
    2. Five.
    3. Seve.
    4. Nine.
  4. Each wave of light has __________.
    1. Different wavelength.
    2. Same wavelength.
    3. Both 1) and 2).
    4. None of the above.
  5. The outermost colour of a Rainbow is _______.
    1. Violet.
    2. Indigo.
    3. Orange.
    4. Red.

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