What is a rainbow?
A rainbow is a magical arc of colors that appears in the sky when sunlight strikes the droplets of rain. This arc consists of seven colors which are quite mesmerizing to see.
In other words, it is a scientific phenomenon that is caused by refraction, reflection, and dispersion of light in water droplets causing a multicolored spectrum of light that appears in the sky in the form of a semi-circular arc.
All of us have most likely seen a rainbow arch at some point in our life but do you know what are the colors in a rainbow and what is the order of it?
There are so many misconceptions about rainbows and very little is known about the actual facts. Read this blog to know all about rainbows – their color order, color codes, and a whole lot more!
Rainbow colors order
What are the colors in a rainbow?
There are seven colors in a rainbow. Although there are many colors present in a rainbow, only seven of them are visible to the naked eye:
These colors can be easily memorized with the mnemonic – ROYGBIV, with each letter being the first letter of each color (R for Red, O for Orange, etc.). The mnemonic can be further broken down into a simple name – Roy G Biv.
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7 colors of the rainbow:
Now that we know the seven colors of a rainbow, let’s dive a little bit deeper into these seven spectrums of colors:
This is the first or the uppermost color in the rainbow spectrum. Red has the longest wavelength among all the colors. This color falls under the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The spectrum actually is a huge band of colors that are not visible to us.
RGB value: 255, 0, 0
HEX code: #FF0000
Orange is the second color from the top of a rainbow. This color is a combination of red and yellow. During sunset and sunrise, we often get to see this color in the form of an orangish-red hue.
RGB value: 255, 127, 0
HEX code: #FF7F00
This is the third color from the top of a rainbow. This color can be achieved by combining red and green. It is the first secondary color in ROYGBIV.
RGB value: 255, 255, 0
HEX code: #FFFF00
Green is the fourth color from the bottom and the top of a rainbow. This color is situated in the middle position in the whole spectrum. It is a combination of yellow and blue. After blue, green is the second primary color in ROYGBIV.
RGB value: 0, 255, 0
HEX code: #00FF00
It is the third color from the bottom and is quite easily recognized. It reminds us of oceans, skies, and our earth. It is also known as nature’s color. Blue is the first primary color in ROYGBIV.
RGB value: 0, 0, 255
HEX code: #0000FF
Indigo is the second color from the bottom of a rainbow. This color is quite difficult to see as it appears in a transitional state as a deeper version of blue. It also enhances the color blue in the spectrum.
RGB value: 75, 0, 130
HEX code: #4B0082
This is the final or the lowermost color of a rainbow. We can get this color by mixing red and blue. It is the ultra-fine specialization of light, as it appears in the opposite position of red.
RGB value: 148, 0, 211
HEX code: #9400D3
The basic order of any rainbow and its color is always from red to violet.
The beauty of rainbow colors
Kids love to see the rainbow, and they often try to predict that they might see a rainbow on a particular day when it rains. The anticipation makes it even more beautiful for children. Rainbow is often considered to be one of the most beautiful paintings of nature.
The band of colors in the form of a semi-circular arch do not fail to impress anyone. This natural phenomenon is quite natural and rare. People often associate rainbows with good fortune. A rainbow is always considered a fascinating and colorful scenery.
Rainbows are an optical illusion like a mirage and are formed when light rays bend striking the tiny droplets of water which creates an effect that can be seen through eyes but cannot be touched or felt. Rainbows can even be seen in mist and fog, waterfalls, dew, etc
Do rainbows have an end?
Rainbows actually have no end. We might have seen half semi-circles or an arch but they are actually full circles. A rainbow can be properly seen from a plane high above the ground.
What is a double rainbow?
A double rainbow is formed when a second arc, much fainter than the primary arc appears in the sky. This phenomenon occurs because of light reflecting twice inside the tiny water droplets. This double reflection results in the formation of a second rainbow on the exterior of the primary arc. The secondary arc has violet on the outer and red on the inner edge.
What is a fogbow rainbow?
A fogbow is a type of rainbow in which the colors are much fainter than an actual rainbow. Fogbow rainbows are formed by clouds and fog droplets. Fogbows are larger than normal rainbows and much broader too.
Rainbows in ancient mythology around the world
Numerous cultures have been fascinated by rainbows from classical times. In this modern age, we are taught that these rainbows are merely optical illusions but humans have described rainbows in different ways through their folklores.
The Siberian and Nordic traditions considered rainbows as a bridge to the afterlife and sky gods. The pre-Incan ancestors of Peru looked at rainbows as jaguars which were their bridges between heaven and earth. In Hindu traditions, the rainbow was considered as the bow used by gods to shoot arrows of lightning towards earth which would ultimately kill the demons on earth.
The Aborigines of Australia legends rainbow as the creator of all forms of energy which was part of dreaming or endless time. Even Japanese cultures considered the rainbow as the creator of the world.
The Chinese looked at rainbows as the two-headed dragon which brought rain and clear blue skies. The Buddhists considered it as the symbol of the highest level of consciousness which preceded Nirvana. The Judeo-Christian folklore considered the rainbow as their protector from floods. In Celtic traditional cultures, the rainbow was the indicator of good fortunes as they considered the rainbow to be emerging from a pot of gold.
Rainbows are fascinating. Aren’t they? In a much more philosophical sense, rainbows represent hope – hope that life is colorful and beautiful!
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why can only sunlight give Rainbow?
The sunlight that we see in the sky is actually white light. White light is formed by the combination of all the other colored lights present in the Rainbow. So when the sun’s rays split during/after rain, it gives us the bands of all the colors present in it.
Why are there only seven colors in the Rainbow?
There is an infinite number of colors in a rainbow but we only see the seven colors (ROYGBIV). It comes down to the way our eyes function. Even though a rainbow has a lot of colors, the cells in our eyes only respond to three: Red, Green, and Blue.
Why is the black color not present in the Rainbow?
The black color that we see in the universe is the absence of light. As the rainbow consists of different colored lights, there is no zone where light is absent. Thus, black is not present in the rainbow as black exists in nature without any light at all.
Can I make white color combining all colors at home?
Definitely, you can. You can easily perform Newton’s Reverse Rainbow Experiment to make white color by combining all the rainbow colors.
5. How can I make a rainbow at home?
To make a rainbow at home, you just need to follow these steps:
- Get hold of a glass prism from any stationary shop
- Take big cardboard with a small aperture in it.
- During daytime when sunlight is coming into your home directly, place the prism and allow the sunlight to pass through the cardboard aperture by holding it in the path of the light
- You will be able to see a rainbow forming on the floor of your home