Yesterday we had a quick rainstorm blow through, and then a gorgeous rainbow appeared.
Well, not just one rainbow, but TWO!
I ran outside to get a picture, and was able to get a few, including this panoramic shot before the next rain clouds rolled in.
Something I hadn't thought of before is, why are the colors in the second rainbow inverted? I figured it had something to do with the way that light reflected from water droplets, but I wasn't sure exactly why.
I knew weather.com would have the scientific answer for me:
The second and more faint rainbow is called the secondary rainbow. It occurs when refracted light does not escape the raindrop after being reflected the first time. Instead, the refracted light reflects off the raindrop's surface a second time as well, producing a secondary rainbow with its colors reversed compared to the primary rainbow.
NOAA's website gives us even more of an explanation with degrees as to why it happens:
Sometimes we see two rainbows at once. What causes this? We have followed the path of a ray of light as it enters and is reflected inside the raindrop. But, not all of the energy of the ray escapes the raindrop after it is reflected once. A part of the ray is reflected again, and travels along a different path inside the drop to emerge from the drop at a different angle. The rainbow we normally see is called the primary rainbow and is produced from one internal reflection. The secondary rainbow arises from two internal reflections and the rays exit the drop the second time at an angle of around 50o, rather than the 42o for the primary rainbow. This effect produces the secondary rainbow, with the colors reversed from the primary rainbow.
Another interesting fact about yesterday's rainbow is that when it first began, it looked like it ended in my backyard, but by the time I got upstairs to my balcony, the end had moved. I guess that depends on where the light hits the water droplets.
In any case, enjoy the beauty!
For any real estate needs in Towson, Maryland or around the Baltimore Metropolitan area,
THINK MARNEY IN MARYLAND!
Keller Williams Excellence Realty
2331 York Road, Suite 100 Lutherville Timonium, MD 21093
Office: 410-560-5858 Cell: 410-493-4884