How rainbows with NO COLOR are possible | Summary and Q&A

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February 7, 2020
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Physics Girl
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How rainbows with NO COLOR are possible

TL;DR

Different types of rainbows, including white rainbows, halo rainbows, glories, and sun dogs, form due to refraction, reflection, and diffraction of light in water droplets and ice crystals in the atmosphere.

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Key Insights

  • 💦 Regular rainbows form due to the refraction and reflection of light in water droplets in the air.
  • 🚨 Halo rainbows and glories are caused by the interaction of light with ice crystals in the atmosphere.
  • 🐕‍🦺 Sun dogs and 22-degree halos are formed through the refraction of light in hexagonal ice crystals.
  • 💦 White rainbows, or fog bows, occur when light diffracts and spreads out around tiny water droplets in fog or mist.
  • ⏰ Spiderwebs covered in morning dew can create rainbow-like effects on lawns.
  • 🥶 The shape and properties of ice crystals play a crucial role in the formation of various types of rainbows.
  • 💦 Different angles, orientations, and sizes of water droplets and ice crystals contribute to the variety of rainbow phenomena.

Transcript

  • Hey, I'm Dianna and you're watching Physics Girl. So a little while back I was walking around the bay in San Diego when the view struck me. I saw this picture of something that looked kind of like a white rainbow. I thought at first it was maybe a cloud but that's a weird placement and shape for a cloud coming off the bay. It looked like part of ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How do regular rainbows form?

Regular rainbows form through the refraction and reflection of light in water droplets in the air, causing the separation of different colors and the characteristic arc shape.

Q: What are halo rainbows and glories?

Halo rainbows and glories are optical phenomena caused by the interaction of light with ice crystals in the atmosphere. Halo rainbows appear as rings around the sun and are formed by the refraction and reflection of light in hexagonal ice crystals. Glories, on the other hand, are small rainbow-like rings caused by the interaction of light with tiny water droplets in clouds or mist.

Q: What are sun dogs?

Sun dogs are another type of atmospheric optical phenomenon that appears as bright spots on either side of the sun, often accompanied by a 22-degree halo. Sun dogs are caused by the refraction of light in hexagonal ice crystals in the atmosphere.

Q: How do white rainbows form?

White rainbows, also known as fog bows, are formed when light diffracts and spreads out due to the presence of tiny water droplets in fog or mist. The diffraction of light creates a smear of overlapping colors, resulting in a white rainbow.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Rainbows form through refraction, where light bends as it passes from one medium to another, causing the separation of different colors of light.

  • Halo rainbows and glories are caused by the interaction of light with ice crystals in the atmosphere, while sun dogs are formed through refraction in hexagonal ice crystals.

  • White rainbows, also known as fog bows, occur when light diffracts and bends around tiny water droplets in fog or mist.

  • A rainbow on a lawn covered in spiderwebs is created by morning dew droplets acting as substitutes for raindrops, resulting in a beautiful rainbow effect.

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