Nature | News | Science

Rainbows, Explained: VIDEO


PBS Digital Studio's smartypants Joe Hanson explains the mystery, the magic, and the majesty of these natural wonders.


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  1. Couple of weeks ago there were spectacular rainbows over the evening sky in Boston, I think in like 5 days in a row. I'd never seen such beautiful, well formed rainbows. Snapped a few pics, but they came out so-so. Everybody noticed them, cars were stopping, people gathering and talking with complete strangers.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 1, 2013 2:16:41 PM

  2. You OK Rat?

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 1, 2013 2:37:02 PM

  3. Indigo is there because it is one-seventh of the spectrum. That is, if you start divvying up the visible spectrum into its components, you'll find that the swath that we consider "red" to be about one-seventh of the spectrum. Similarly for orange, yellow, green, etc.

    So if you take the one-seventh for blue next to green and then take the one-seventh for violet coming from the other end, you have an unaccounted for one-seventh between blue and violet.

    Thus, "indigo."

    Posted by: Rrhain | Jul 1, 2013 3:29:53 PM

  4. I was writing at my desk and this rainbow happened.....I just posted a picture on my Blog site.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jul 1, 2013 3:36:11 PM

  5. Will they explain how to find the pot of gold next?

    Posted by: anon | Jul 1, 2013 4:13:47 PM

  6. Or explain why I didn't see any skittles rain down from the sky.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 1, 2013 4:59:43 PM

  7. <3 Joe.

    Posted by: sparks | Jul 1, 2013 5:54:30 PM

  8. Cute geek. Also, I have that shirt.

    There's no pink in a rainbow. The more you know....

    Posted by: Martin Haro | Jul 1, 2013 6:59:29 PM

  9. 42? Wasn't that the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

    Posted by: Charlie | Jul 1, 2013 10:06:42 PM

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