Weather Wednesday: How rainbows form

Weather Wednesday

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The belief is at the base of the rainbow there is a pot of gold. It would make sense for the rainbow to be popular if it made you wealthy, but the array of colors can be just as enjoyable.

A rainbow forms on the opposite side of the sky than the sun. That means if a rainbow is spotted in the morning then it would be in the westerly direction. In the evening, rainbows can be found towards the east. At sunrise and sunset, the sun sits lower in the sky, and a low sun angle is needed for rainbows to form. People also need to be between the rain and the sun. That allows people to see the light bending to create the rainbow.

It is possible to make a rainbow at home. The supplies needed are crystal glass, water, and a flashlight. The glass of water represents the showers and water droplets from the rainstorm. The flashlight represents the sun. With the glass filled about 75% of the way full, shine the flashlight at the base of the glass. Move the flashlight around until you start to see a rainbow shining on a nearby wall. The light shines white until it hits the water, and then it bends causing the light to shine at different parts of the light spectrum.

Don’t miss the full video above about how rainbows form.

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