Where does the rainbow end?

Where does the rainbow end?
19 March 2003

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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 several photos taken yesterday of a rainbow touching the ground 100 yards in front of us. Had it been public property my girlfriend could have easily have walked right up to it while I took her picture. I do not know what she would have seen. My guess is it would have had some perspective shift for her but I now know for a fact you can see them touching the ground clearly vividly angst right in front of you.

Sorry, it is absolutely impossible for a rainbow to touch the ground. Sorry.

I had the end of a rainbow land right in front of me on a rain slicked road. I drove right through it. Saw all the colors right through my car. How blessed am I?

Me too I'hv seen the rainbow touch the ground when I was on the top hill it touch on trees and this tress has the color of the rainbow..why is it like this I want an answer

The rainbow didn’t Touch the GROND it stops before it hits it

Sorry, what you saw was the rainbow reaching the horizon. It curves with the Earth because it's so high in the sky, it's made by sunlight going through rain or ice crystals, causing a prismatic effect. Since there need to be the water droplets or ice crystals it cannot be touching the ground.

I think ive seen one at an island

I love rainbow from the depth of my heart

I ve never seen all those. I ve only seen it from the sky.

No sure why Scientist say they do not touch the ground. I have four photos that I took with rainbows ending. One from a cruise ship, one on the highway, one on the top of an airport building and one on top of the hood of my car. So if its not the end what is it that I captured?

I have 3 pics of rainbow touching the ground that I took while in the passenger seat of a moving vehicle

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

ARE U SURE IS A REAL RAINBOW U SAW?

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

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