Sunday, May 29, 2005

Rainbows: Google Is Forgiving

Thank goodness Google is so forgiving. Here's my lame-ass search for figuring out about rainbow color order:

colors in a rainbow indigo

Here's my first result: a thing for school teachers

1 Scientists who are interested in light waves study rainbows. Artists learn all about the color spectrum from a rainbow. There is also the pot of gold thing that people have been trying to figure out about rainbows.

2 Scientists know that a rainbow is something that happens in the Earth's atmosphere after a storm. A rainbow occurs when light from the sun is separated and reflected as it hits raindrops still in the atmosphere after a storm. Sunlight hits each raindrop and is reflected towards earth. At the same time the sunlight is bent, or refracted. Depending on where the raindrop is and where you are standing to look at it, the refracted sunlight will have different angles. Each different angle measurement of the light produces a different color of the rainbow. A full rainbow shows us light reflected at all different angles, from different parts of the sky. It includes the full spectrum of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. The red light is actually coming toward us at a 42-degree angle, the violet light at a 40-degree angle, and the other colors at angles in between these two. This can only happen when the sun is low in the sky. This is why we usually see rainbows in the early morning or late afternoon.

3 Sometimes you can see a primary rainbow, which is bright and goes from red on the outer edge to violet on the inner edge, and also a secondary rainbow, which is not as bright and has the colors in reverse. A secondary rainbow is made when the colors reflect a second time.

4 It doesn't always take a storm to create a rainbow. You can stand with your back to the sun and spray water from your garden hose to create a colorful rainbow. A glass prism will also split sunlight into a spectrum of colors.

5 Artists are interested in the colors of the rainbow. They know that besides the seven main colors, a rainbow also contains all of the colors in between. Colored lights can be mixed to produce in-between colors just like a painter mixes paints to produce many shades. However, light mixes much differently from paint. If you mix lots of colors of paint, you might get a brownish color, but if you mix all of the colors of light, you get white. That is why sunlight, which is actually a combination of all of the colors, appears to be white or colorless.

So the thing I was trying to figure out was:

ROYGBIV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet

And BTW, if you're a DIY'er -- Here's some good "Make Your Own Rainbow" advice: