Science is the poetry of Nature.

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Posts tagged "Rainbow"

Rainbow Fragments on Spider Webs

The entangled pearl necklaces pictured above are actually droplets of dew on a spider web.

The subtle colors displayed here resulted when sunlight illuminated the web, creating a multitude of rainbow fragments. Note that, in general, the smaller dew drops, residing on the thinnest silk strands, are nearly colorless.

With these smaller drop sizes, wave interference acts to diminish coloration because colors tend to overlap one another.

Double Pink Rainbow Over Glen Ashley, South Africa

The photo above showing a high-arching pink rainbow was captured at sunset near Durban, South Africa.

The camera is facing toward the anti-solar point. Like the setting Sun, the rainbow colors we’re familiar with acquire red or pink hues once the Sun dips close to the horizon. This is because as the Sun sets (or rises) the increased path length sunlight takes through the atmosphere acts to scatter out the green, blue and violet colors from our view. — Photo Jacques Joubert Summary Jim Foster



An extremely rare iridescent rainbow cloud hovers over the island of Scalpay, in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. The cloud, known as Mother of Pearl or Nacreous Cloud, was captured by amateur photographer Jezz Wheeler. Picture: Jezz Wheeler / Caters News

(via afro-dominicano)


Rainbow Angel

From photographer Bhautik Joshi 2012: Neat demonstration of three aspects of atmospheric physics here - the high-G turn slowed the plane enough to permit a sharp photograph, which in turn caused a region of high pressure on the top surface of the plane which condensed moisture out of the air for the ethereal vapor trails, which in turn scatter sunlight from behind creating a transient rainbow.


the light emitted by the sun is made of all of the colors of the rainbow, however it looks white. light passing through a crystal with a peculiar shape separates it into it’s different colors. 

light travels in waves, some shorter and some longer, but the wavelengths vary; that is, forming a spectrum if you will. all light moves straight unless obstructed in one of three ways: being bent, reflected or scattered. before reaching the surface of the earth, light emitted by the sun hits the earth’s atmosphere and gets scattered by hitting the various molecules that make up the the various atmospheric layers atop the earth’s surface. 

of all the colors in the rainbow, blue light is scattered the most because it travels as shorter and smaller waves giving the sky it’s blue hue. this is why the sky is blue most of the time. 

(via alscientist)


Photographer: Jim Pastore
Summary Authors: Jim Pastore; Jim Foster

The photo above showing a desert monsoon thunderstorm pushing off to the east of Catalina, Arizona was taken on the evening of August 5, 2012. A jagged cloud-to-ground lightning bolt dominates the scene while the gentle arc of a rainbow adds colorful accents. It’s not the shield of rain and dust that paint this rainbow bow in shades of red, orange and yellow but rather the fact that the bow formed close to sunset. Longer path lengths of sunlight when the Sun lies near or below the horizon are responsible for reddening sunsets and rainbows alike. Note that rainbows only occur opposite the Sun (antisolar point) — directly behind the camera.”

More at Earth Science Photo of the Day

H/T SciNerds

(via afro-dominicano)


Pink Rainbow Over Corio Bay, Australia

Rainbows exhibit the colors we’re all familiar with when they’re not at their highest position in the sky. As the Sun sets, rainbows arch higher and higher without much of change in color. However, once the Sun dips below the horizon, the increased path length of sunlight alters a rainbow’s appearance.


Amazing Photo: Double Rainbow Over Wyoming

Wyoming resident Jonmikel Pardo took this spectacular photograph of a double rainbow on Sep. 1. from his backyard in Lander, Wyo.

“It was just after a fast-moving thunderstorm passed through,” he told OurAmazingPlanet. “There was a break in the clouds just as the sun was about to set behind the mountains. The break was large enough to allow the full sunlight through and the rainbow was incredibly bright, even more so with the dark storm surrounding us.”

The physics of fire rainbows

Sometimes clouds take on rainbow colors - hazy greens and reds. Fire rainbows are the turbo-charged versions of that. They’re rainbows that seems to be turned into wispy clouds, making them look like sky fires. Although fire rainbows are rare, the physics behind them is pretty simple.

Fire rainbows are very, very cool looking. They’re a combination of clouds and rainbows, with the brilliant colors of a rainbow conforming to the contours of a cloud. Since fire rainbows are almost always found in cirrus clouds, the resulting wisps look like curls of flame moving across the sky. How do we get this crazy phenomenon?

It starts with sun on ice crystals. This is why cirrus clouds are generally the only clouds to display fire rainbows. The clouds have to be far enough up in the air for ice crystals to form, and the sun has to be shining through them in order for the light to reach people on the ground. Dark storm clouds blot out the sun and low fog doesn’t contain enough ice crystals to properly refract the light. When they form, ice crystals often make little hexagonal plates. If the sun is at least fifty-eight degrees above the horizon (the optimum angle is 67 degrees), its light hits the top of these plates and is split into different colors. Since the plates only exist in the cloud, and nothing else around it, the entire cloud turns into a self-contained rainbow.

If you’re too far north or too far south, you can’t ever see these clouds. Likewise, there are certain times of year where they disappear. The sun doesn’t get high enough in the sky to create them. Still, a few photographers have been there at just the right moment and captured gorgeous photos of them in the sky.


A double rainbow. When direct sunlight strikes falling rain, a rainbow is seen at a point directly opposite the sun. A double rainbow occurs when some of the light entering the raindrop is refracted into its component colors, reflected off the back interior wall of the drop, and then refracted again as it exits the drop. The dark area in between the two rainbows is called Alexander’s band.


A Volcanic Rainbow in the Hottest Place on Earth

Read here


Lost Rainbow Toad Found After 87 Years

Herpetologists at Conservation International have rediscovered the exotic Sambas stream toad (aka Borneo rainbow toad, aka Ansonia latidisca) after 87 years of evasion, and released the first ever photographs of the brightly colored amphibian.

The spindly-legged species was last seen in 1924 and European explorers in Borneo only made monochrome illustrations of it. A decade or so later, the CI and the SSC Amphibian Specialist Group added the species to its World’s Top 10 Most Wanted Lost Frogs campaign.

(via expose-the-light)


An Iridescent (Rainbow) Cloud in Himalaya

The phenomenon was observed early morning on October 18, 2009 on the path to Khumjung in the Himalayas. The mountain pictured is Thamserku (6623m).

Iridescent clouds are a diffraction phenomenon cause by small water droplets or small ice crystals individually scattering light. Larger ice crystals produce halos, which are a refraction phenomena rather than iridescence. Iridescence should similarly be distinguished from the refraction in larger raindrops that makes a rainbow. If parts of clouds have small droplets or crystals of similar size, their cumulative effect is seen as colors. The cloud must be optically thin, so that most rays encounter only a single droplet. Iridescence is therefore mostly seen at cloud edges or in semi-transparent clouds, and newly forming clouds produce the brightest and most colorful iridescence.

Credit: Oleg Bartunov