Why is a rainbow curved?

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May 05, 2013 10:11PM

Answer 1:

A rainbow is curved because of the way that light shines - it

forms into a curved shape.

Answer 2:

A rainbow is curved because the light that makes it up comes

through the atmosphere

which is curved around the planet, it includes every colour of

the light spectrum.

Answer #3:

A rainbow is curved because at every point on the rainbow, the

angle between the

line to the sun and the line to you has to be 42 degrees ... at

any other angle, the

light leaving the water droplet misses you and you don't see


A great number of points where that angle is true form a


(Of course, only the ones that are above the ground can

participate in the process.

The ones that are underground either can't see the sun or can't

see you, and there's

probably no water droplets there anyway, so there's no path for

the light to go from

the sun to the point underground and then to you, and you don't

see a full circle.)

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