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Find a Rainbow Day
"Somewhere ... over the rainbow ..."
Historically associated with hope and good fortune, the appearance of even a single rainbow gladdens the eye. If April showers bring occasional rainbows along with May flowers, keep your eye out for the fairly common double rainbow, caused by the light reflecting twice off the back of a raindrop, leading to a secondary rainbow in chich the the order of the colors in the bow are reversed! It is even possible in certain cases to view 3rd and even 4th order rainbows (with images finally captured in 2011). The fabled quinary rainbow (a 5th order rainbow made by sunlight reflected five times inside raindrops), is detectable only by its broad greens tending to blue towards the primary bow. In such a rainbow, the yellows and reds are hidden behind the secondary bow. Long predicted, it was finally photographed in 2012 from the Langmuir Laboratory for atmospheric research near the 10,800 ft summit of South Baldy Peak, New Mexico, USA. Other unusual rainbows can be seen in moonlight (moonbows), fog (fog bows), waterfalls, and even in the spray created by waves or whale spouts! 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈
Rainbows are part of the myths of many cultures around the world.
In the old Norse religion, a burning rainbow bridge called the Bifrost connects Midgard (earth) with Asgard, home of the gods. Bifrost can be used only by gods and those who are killed in battle.
In the ancient beliefs of Japan, rainbows were the bridges that human ancestors took to descend to the planet.
In Navajo tradition, the rainbow is the path of the holy spirits, and is frequently depicted in sacred sand paintings.
The Maori tell a tale of Hina, the moon, who caused a rainbow to span the heavens even down to the earth, for her mortal husband to return to earth to end his days, since death may not enter her celestial home.
The apparent discreteness of main colours is an artifact of human perception and the exact number of main colours normally described is a somewhat arbitrary choice. The Munsell colour system (a 20th-century system for numerically describing colours, based on equal steps for human visual perception) distinguishes 100 hues.
Rainbows can also be seen in moonlight (moonbow), fog (Fog bow), waterfalls, and even in the spray created by waves or whale spouts.
This tartan by designer Carol A.L. Martin, employs the gentle hues of a rainbow during a light spring rain.
For more fascinating rainbow facts about the predicted and now photographed 5th order rainbow, click the beautiful rainbow over the ocean.