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ROYGBIV The Colors of The Rainbow Fun Facts

Updated on September 26, 2014
Cardisa profile image

Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.


What is ROY G BIV

The best way to remember the colors that appear in a rainbow is to remember the acronym that makes up each color and that is ROY G BIV. But what is a rainbow and why does it have these beautiful colors?

ROY G BIV represents the seven primary colors of the rainbow. If your child has a problem remembering these colors, ROY G BIV is the easiest way to have them remember them. There are nursery rhymes, poems and even songs about ROY G BIV that they can learn. It's never too early to teach them about the rainbow as it is one of earths natural phenomena.








This article is written in simple easy terms that any child can understand. Have fun Kids and see below for how you too can make your own rainbow at home.

What is a rainbow?

Simply, a rainbow is a reflection of light from water droplets. What do I mean?

Light is made of many different colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet and many more, even some we can't see with the normal eye. Even though the sunlight appears white it is not, as discovered by Isaac Newton in 1666. He used a prism to allow light to pass through it and discovered these beautiful colors.

The colors you see in a rainbow are only those that can be detected with the naked eye. These colors are recorded as the primary colors of the rainbow but in fact many more do exist.

When it rains the water droplets in the atmosphere act as prisms and so reflect these colors. However the rainbow is formed only when the sunlight passes through the water at a certain angle.

Two processes occur to form the rainbow:

  • Reflection of the sunlight through the water droplets
  • Refraction of the light to bend the colors.

The bend of the rainbow is caused by the continuous reflecting and refracting of the light through the water particles in the atmosphere.

As you can see in the diagram below, the light passes through the particle of water. As it passes through the colors are reflected. Then at the back of the particle the light bends and refracts, bending the colors at an angle which is approximately 42 degrees.

As you can see, light enters and colors exit the water particle.

Water particle refracting and reflecting light


Rainbow Facts

  • A rainbow cannot be touched as it is not a tangible object. Neither is it an illusion because the water droplets are real even though they are so tiny.
  • You cannot really reach the end of the rainbow. Even if you see someone who appears to be standing at the end of one. That person at the end of the rainbow will see another rainbow further still.
  • All rainbows appear at 42 degrees in the opposite direction of the sun.
  • A rainbow may have many more colors than the usual seven though the human eye may detect only these.
  • Rainbows are also caused by dew, mist and spray.
  • All rainbow observers have the sun behind them when they see a rainbow
  • A rainbow can be formed at night with the light of the moon. This is called a moon-bow and is very rare.

How to make your own rainbow!

Making your own rainbow is quite easy. You will need the following items:

  • A sunny window
  • A white wall next to that sunny window or a piece of plain white paper
  • A mirror
  • A clear plastic bowl of water
  • A table

Place the bowl on the table next to the sunny window. Place the white paper next to the window on the wall. Place the mirror in water and adjust it to the sunlight. Adjust the paper if needed until the mirror reflects off it. The colors in the edge of the water in the mirror should reflect off the white wall or paper to form your rainbow.


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    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      ....well then I just 'love' being in the same time zone as you - it's so thrilling ....

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hey Epi, thanks for making me smile in this Tuesday morning. It seems we are sharing the same time zone, because my computer is showing me the same in Jamaica as Lake Erie.

      Lots of hugs~~

    • epigramman profile image


      6 years ago

      ....well for the last two years or more sweet Carolee you have been my rainbow without a doubt and I am lucky to see them quite often over my lake in person especially in the summertime after a thunderstorm - thank you for breaking down the colors though in this well thought out and thoroughly explained hub topic - and sending warm wishes to you with a cup of Blue Mountain coffee at lake erie time 10:44am canada

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hi James,

      The farms in Jamaica were hit the hardest. Most of the houses are fine but for a few people who lost their homes due to landslide. Some of our radio stations and both television stations are not back up in my area so haven't heard all the newscasts as yet but I haven't heard of any loss of lives in Jamaica. The Bahamas on the other hand was badly hit. I spoke with my mom in NY city this morning and it's headed her way.

      All in all I am fine and so are my no power for a few days but things are getting back to normal. Thanks for checking up on me.


    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 

      6 years ago from eastern North Dakota

      Hi Carolee,

      I've been thinking about you, my friend, after hearing that over sixty people in the Caribbean have died due to this hurricane. I hope you are all right, and I hope the storm in Jamaica is over. From what I heard Jamaica wasn't hit too hard, but that might be a matter of opinion.

      Anyway, I loved this hub of yours. I love rainbows, and I have a couple glass gem-like objects hanging in the east window that sometimes cast different colors on the nearby white wall.

      Again, I hope you are all right.

      Your friend, James

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hey Ruby, how is it going? Thanks for stopping by, glad I could supply the info.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is really interesting Cardisa..New info to me..Thank's..

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      6 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Angela, yes, rainbows are a delight to watch.Imagine a child who know what a rainbow is and how it is formed, that child would be so happy they would never stop showing

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Delightful and informative Hub --- we all admire rainbows but few of us (including myself) know much about them other than they're beautiful. Thanks for the rainbow education! Best/Sis

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thank you Teaches, your compliment means a lot. I love rainbow too and I always try to get photos but it's not always easy capturing on camera.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the simple code word to remember the colors of the rainbow. I love rainbows, so your hub is tops with me. I would love to see a moonbow! Greatly detailed and illustrated. You have talent, but I'm sure you know that by now. Blessings.

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Faith, thank you. Rainbows are indeed beautiful and everyone I know is in awe when one appears. It is one of nature's mysteries.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      7 years ago from southern USA

      What a lovely subject for a hub and oh so interesting indeed! Never knew all of this about the beautiful rainbow. My granddaughters just love rainbows, as we all do, so when they come up, we will know how to make one courtesy of you! They are in awe when one appears on the wall in our home through the beveled glass on the front door. Well done and Voted up, awesome, interesting, beautiful and useful.

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • Cardisa profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks Billy. I used to think so wrote this because I have been asked by my neighbours children about science and stuff. I thought that maybe some children might be searching the internet for

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That was very interesting! I had no idea that you couldn't reach the end of the could I not know that? lol Thanks for the information!


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