How Many Colors Are In The Rainbow And What Are They? | Kidadl


How Many Colors Are In The Rainbow And What Are They?

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A rainbow is a continuous multicolored arch formed in the sky as a result of light refraction and dispersion.

The colors of a rainbow are spectral colors. They are particularly common after a strong downpour, since the water droplets help in reflecting light, resulting in an array of colors.

Though rainbows don't appear often most of us would have seen them on one or the other occasion. Initially, Aristotle the Greek philosopher first experimented with rainbows and their colors. This happened in 350 BC. Roman philosopher Seneca the younger took up and expanded this idea in 65 AD. His thinking was very advanced for people at that time. Many philosophers and scientists have been studying the rainbow effect and light from the sun since then. The discovery of newton that a rainbow can be formed using a prism was a great contribution. It broadened the thinking and gave birth to several ideas which led to the ultimate knowledge about rainbows. Gothe, very famous poetry and prose writer was the first one to challenge the ideas of newton. He concluded that colors are not only a scientific measurement but a sensation that is perceived. The perceptions can vary from one person to another. This theory was regarded as the theory of colors. Though at the time it was hard to believe this, this theory received a lot of recognition among other scientists. If you are someone who despises rain and hates going out during the rainy season don't worry we have got this bunch of interesting facts and answers to all your questions about rainbows. Keep reading to find out if rainbows have black color and the science behind rainbows. Once you are done with this article do check out our other articles on how is white gold made and how is sea glass made.

How many colors are there in a rainbow?

All of us have been taught that rainbows have seven colors. When you look up and take a look at the rainbow it might look like it only has seven colors. However, after deeper examination scientists have found that this is not the case. The rainbow is much more colorful than we thought. It has a number of colors that cannot be seen with the naked human eye due to its range and frequency. The seven colors that are visible to humans are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

We have all heard this popular line 'the eyes they never lie'. But this is not true. A rainbow is not a spectrum in its purest form. It's really made up of a slew of different spectrum colors that have merged and blended. Human eyes are very different and vary depending on the individual. The rods and cones we have are of three types, blue red, and green. When you see an object that is yellow, to help you recognize the color the red and green cones start working. This is how all humans are able to see colors. In day time, these cones are sensitive to particular wavelengths of visible light. In the case of color blind people, one or many of the cones do not work properly making it hard to distinguish the colors in nature. Now, when we look at the rainbow we see colors like red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. We are not able to see some of the colors as they do not overlap or get mixed and the wavelength of such colors is not something that the human eyes can easily pick up. Human eyes can only perceive some colors that make up white light. We are only able to perceive wavelengths between 400 nanometers and 700 nanometers. We will only be able to tell apart the colors within this range. Hence missing a majority of colors. This does not mean that they don't exist at all. A lot of other fascinating colors like brown pink, white, and even black could also be a part of the rainbow. We are able to see a rainbow due to the presence of white light. Scientists have not been able to tell the exact number of colors in the rainbow but the main hues that are detected by the human eyes are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Fun fact: If you are a meme lover you definitely would have come across the meme about rainbow where it says is your green my red? Or is my blue your blue? Like previously said, human eyes are very different from one another. And not all of us see the same rainbow colors. This doesn't mean you are seeing an entirely different color from what your mom is seeing. There are slight differences in the hues. For example, your mom might be seeing deeper or paler shades of orange when compared to what shades you are seeing. But we never know!

What are the names of colors of the rainbow in order?

The names of the rainbow colors are one of the few things that we start learning at a very young age. Why we see the same order of colors in the rainbow is something that has always been a popular topic of discussion. When it rains a rainbow occurs due to the refraction of light. Refraction is a phenomenon that occurs when light passes across an interface between two mediums or a medium with different densities.

The colors red orange yellow always are always at the bottom followed by indigo, blue, and violet. When sunlight passes through the raindrops the first mentioned colors are the most refracted colors, hence fall at the top. The wavelength of the blue and violet are least refracted hence they occupy the bottom positions. Sir Isaac Newton concluded that a prism could divide white light into hues that form a visible spectrum that is comparable to the rainbow. Thanks to Isaac Newton we can make our own rainbows even in the absence of rain. Try this out by shining light through your prism. Where the rainbow begins and ends is not traceable. This is because the rainbow you see is an orientation of your eyes and the sun. So when you try tracking the endpoints of a rainbow and move, the rainbow moves with you. If you are lucky you will get a glimpse of two rainbows at the same time. Of course, this is even rarer than seeing a rainbow itself. It is created when light from the sun is refracted twice by the same water drop.

Kid hand painting colorful rainbow on window.

What is the acronym for colors of the rainbow?

The colors in a rainbow can be quite confusing and hard to remember. But you can do this with the help of acronyms and mnemonics. The acronym for the colors in a rainbow is ROYGBIV or Roy G. Biv. It can also be remembered in the reverse order as VIBGYOR. The common and most used mnemonic in Britain is Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain. It refers to the defeat and death of Richard, Duke of York.

Did you know, in Greek and Roman mythology, rainbows are considered to be the path of Gods? The Greek goddess Iris took the form of a rainbow. Several artworks confirm this. Iris is the wife of Hermes. In order to bring rain, she would use her pitcher to take water to the clouds. In the process, the rainbow was formed. It was also said that this rainbow was a bridge between mount Olympus and earth. People are still inclined towards this idea rather than science.

How can you see the colors of the rainbow?

Science has made the answer simple. Sunlight passes through the water droplets. These droplets reflect some of the light. Due to a process called refraction, a rainbow is formed. The rods and cones in the humans help detect the seven colors in the sky.

There is a thin layer in the eye called the retina. It is present at the back of the eyes. The main function of the retina is to receive visible light within a frequency. The retina has two types of receptor cells called the rods and cones. The cones are of three types, red, blue, and green. These specialized cells convert light into electrical signals. Rods help us see at night while the cones are completely responsible for color perception. The types of cones enable us to see different colors of light by responding to the various wavelengths of light. A light or continuous band of light with an elevated or higher frequency is not picked up by the human eye. Red cones are activated by wavelengths of greater length while the blue cones are activated by shorter wavelengths. The greens cones are stimulated when met with another shorter wavelength. When these combinations are mixed or are partially activated according to varying wavelengths humans are finally able to see multiple colors in the form of a rainbow.

Monochrome rainbows are actually red rainbows. They are usually formed after a downpour. Rainbows are seen as a symbol of peace throughout the world. Rainbows are way more common in Hawaii than in any other place in the world. At times a single droplet can reflect light three to four times. In the entire solar system, the only planet capable of producing rainbows is earth. A rainbow generally and most likely falls in the opposite direction of the sun.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how many colors are in the rainbow then why not take a look at how is quorn made, or how is root beer made?

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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