Types Of Rainbows: Learn All About The Reality Of Rainbows! | Kidadl


Types Of Rainbows: Learn All About The Reality Of Rainbows!

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Nature is a mesmerizing beauty to behold, even more so, the magical rainbows!

At your leisure, you probably never would have overlooked a rainbow, you gaze at them whenever they stretch across the sky. Sometimes it’s the colors and sometimes the arc, it would still leave you wonderstruck whenever they pop up.

It's nature’s way to catch your attention! Rainbows are meteorological phenomena formed as a result of reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light passing through the airborne water droplets on the atmosphere causing a light spectrum arched over the vast sky, and also, certain substances can work in the same way to form rainbows.

A regular or normal rainbow has VIBGYOR as its colors, that is Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Orange, and Red. Natural as it sounds, rainbows are not something you come across every day. Some may even say that a rainbow is rarely visible, only on rare occasions. But a typical rainbow is visible during rain showers when the light rays pass through water drops or the water droplet at a certain angle.

They give us the pleasure of appearing once in a while, or is it that you have too busy a life that you often ignore the beauty that paints the sky? Read along to find out about a supernumerary rainbow, quaternary rainbows, a white rainbow, visible rainbows, a reflected rainbow, and how different types of rainbows form in different situations!

After reading about different types of rainbows, also check facts on a full rainbow and are rainbows real?

Different Rainbow Types

Nature is full of wonders and rainbows are easily regarded as one of the most marvelous creations of nature. Just after the rain, when the light from the sun pierces the clouds, it is scattered into different wavelengths leading to the formation of a rainbow.

The rainbows thus formed can be of different types depending on the conditions. Some of the most popular rainbow types are: -

Fogbow: Fogbows are formed on the thin layer of fog or over a water body, are the result of the light spectrum caused by the diffraction of sunlight in the water droplets through tiny clouds or fog.

Rainbows under the moonlight: Like the sun, the light from the moon passes through the airborne water droplets to refract, forming a light spectrum causing the lunar rainbow or moonbow. They’re much rarer than the ordinary rainbows and require a full moon to grace us with their presence, hence they appear white to human eyes. However, the full spectrum light can sometimes be captured through long exposure photographs.

Sleetbow: They appear in the same process as any of the other rainbows, the only difference is that instead of water droplets the light spectrum occurs through ice droplets in the rain.

Double/Multiple rainbows: Sometimes a secondary rainbow with reversed color patterns emerges higher from the primary (original) rainbows forming two or multiple rainbows or double reflection, one the bright one and the other a dark one which together forms a double rainbow or multiple rainbows.

Twinned rainbows: They are formed just like double rainbows but without reversing the colors, they’re very rare and occur as if the primary rainbow has split again causing a twin of the primary rainbow itself.

Full circle rainbows: Literally, every rainbow is a full circle although you can only see a half rainbow from the ground. When there’re water droplets to be seen below the other half, you can see the full circle rainbow.

Supernumerary rainbows: On occasions there may appear faint bands of rainbows near to the primary rainbows & very rarely outside the secondary rainbows, these narrow rainbows are called supernumerary rainbows, and the whole of the rainbows with the primary rainbows are called stacker rainbow.

Reflected and reflected rainbows: When sunlight is first deflected by droplets and falls over the water body, gets reflected to form a rainbow it is known to be reflected rainbows.

When the sunlight is first reflected by the water body and then passed through the droplets then reflection rainbows are formed.

Monochrome rainbows: Sometimes during the sunrise and sunset, the light spectrum may spread out the blue & green rainbows completely, forming a red rainbow or monochrome rainbow.

Higher-order rainbows: There’s a possibility of light reflections beyond the primary and secondary rainbows to an extent that with each reflection the colors dim to nothing. These rainbows are called higher-order rainbows.

Red Or Monochrome Rainbow

Monochrome rainbow is most likely to be visible when the formation of rainbows is during sunrise and sunset, typically when the sun is near to the horizon.

This causes the water droplets to split the sunlight into long wavelengths, which makes the light colors like blue and green spread further away. Hence the rainbow would be forming a red or monochrome rainbow as only the red light with its longer wavelength emerges from the rain droplet and forms an arc of light that is red in color.

Kid hand painting colorful rainbow

Reflected Or Reflection Rainbow

When the light from the sun passes through the water droplets to a water body and then reflected again.

This ensures that our eyes could see the reflected rainbows whereas when the sunlight first reflects over the water body to pass through the airborne droplets so as to form a rainbow it is called reflection rainbows.

Full-Circle Rainbow

Rainbows are full circle by formation, but what makes them arched or half-sized is the way we see them.

Since there are no water droplets to see the light spectrum on the ground level from where we look, humans fail to see the full circle rainbows. But if the rainbows are to be looked at a certain height so as to see the water droplets scattering the sunlight below the other half, we shall see the full-circle rainbows.

Higher-Order Rainbows

Occasionally rainbows are reflected infinity through reflections.

The primary rainbow can have a secondary rainbow and the secondary rainbow may get reflected innumerable rainbows beyond, getting dimmer and dimmer to nothing eventually. These higher reflected rainbows are called the higher-order rainbows.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for types of rainbows then why not take a look at rainbow on the ground, or acid rain facts.

Kidadl Team
Written By
Kidadl Team

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