Where does the rainbow end?

19 March 2003

Share

Question

Where does the rainbow end?

Answer

Disappointing news for Billy - the rainbow doesn't touch the ground and there is no end to it. Light from the sun looks white, but it is actually made of lots of different colours. Normally they are all mixed together. A rainbow is formed when light from the sun meets raindrops in the air and the raindrops separate out all these different colours. Because rainbows are made in the sky they don't touch the ground. So if you're on the ground, however far you walk, the end of the rainbow will always look as if it were on the edge of the horizon. But what people don't realise is that rainbows are actually complete circles, and obviously a circle has no end. You never see the whole circle because the earth's horizon gets in the way. Apparently, if you see a rainbow from a plane it should be almost a complete circle. Another interesting fact about rainbows - have you ever noticed that you'll only ever see a rainbow if the sun is behind you? You can also sometimes see miniature rainbows in your garden if you're watering your plants with the sun behind you...

Comments

I have seen the end of a rainbow on the highway while driving. It started in the sky and ran along a transport truck i was driving next to, finishing on its back wheel and exploding into hundreds of multi colored water droplets being sprayed up by the tire. Amazing thing to see

I have made sirious life choices after this article

Well, I saw one touching in my front field as the rain rolled through about 50 yards away. It had a clear beginning. So I don't know what to say scientifically, but I saw it clear as day and it reformed after the heavy rain as a double, though you could not see the second end.

I ha have a photo of me standing in a rainbow. We were standing out the back of our house and a rainbow appeared 30feet away .I ran over to the rainbow and my friend took the picture

Add a comment