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A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky.
See the fact file below for more information on the rainbow or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Rainbow worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Refraction, reflection, and dispersion of light in water droplets result in the formation of rainbows.
- A rainbow is formed when light (generally sunlight) passes through water droplets hanging in the atmosphere. The light waves change direction as they pass through the water droplets, resulting in two processes: reflection and refraction.
- When light reflects off a water droplet, it simply bounces back in the opposite direction from where it originated. When light refracts, it takes a different direction.
- Some individuals refer to refracted light as “bent light waves.” A rainbow is formed because white light enters the water droplet, where it bends in several different directions.
- When these bent light waves reach the other side of the water droplet, they reflect back out of the droplet instead of completely traversing the water.
- Since the white light is separated inside of the water, the refracted light appears as separate colors to the human eye.
- A rainbow is an optical illusion—it does not actually exist in a specific spot in the sky.
- The appearance of a rainbow depends on where you’re standing and where the sun (or other source of light) is shining.
- Thus, a rainbow is not an object and cannot be physically approached.
- Rainbows span a continuous spectrum of colors. Any distinct bands perceived are an artefact of human color vision, and no banding of any type is seen in a black-and-white photo of a rainbow, only a smooth gradation of intensity to a maximum, then fading towards the other side.
- A rainbow shows up as a spectrum of light: a band of familiar colors that include red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
- The name “Roy G. Biv” is an easy way to remember the colors of the rainbow, and the order in which they appear: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. (Many scientists, however, think “indigo” is too close to blue to be truly distinguishable.)
- Each individual wave of color has a different length. For example, red light has the longest wavelength and only bends at about a 42-degree angle.
- Violet light, in contrast, has the shortest wavelength and bends at around 40 degrees before exiting the water droplet. Because the red light wavelength is longer, it most commonly appears on the outside edge of the rainbow.
- Similarly, the other colors are also ordered according to their wavelength. Other waves of light are also reflected from the rainbow, however, these light waves are not visible to the naked human eye.
- These invisible rays are present on both sides of the rainbow.
- Ultraviolet rays are shorter than violet rays and x-rays are even shorter than ultraviolet rays. Gamma radiation is at the furthest extreme of this side of the rainbow. At the other end of the spectrum are infrared radiation and radio waves.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the rainbow across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Rainbow worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about a rainbow which is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Rainbow Facts
- Four Facts
- Choose That
- Jumbled Words
- The Spectrum
- Keep or Trash?
- Types of Rainbows
- Colorful Song
- Isaac Newton
- The Quote
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Link will appear as Rainbow Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 5, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.