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ROYGBIV The Colors of The Rainbow Fun Facts
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
- 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.