How are rainbows created?

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Friday, September 23, 2016
How rainbows are created
AccuWeather explains how the colorful weather displays are created.

Rainbows can sometimes appear after storms, but how are these colorful weather displays created?

"Only three things are needed to make a rainbow: sunlight, water, and, surprisingly, you," AccuWeather explained. "Sunlight contains all the colors in the visible light spectrum." That sunlight comes through the raindrops, which act as "reflectors because of how the light passes through them."

Each raindrop can only reflect one color, so you'll need millions of them to have many colors in a rainbow. The angle you're looking at a rainbow from will determine what colors you'll be able to see.

A rainbow, though, doesn't actually exist in a physical space,. "It's just an optical illusion from the sun reflecting in the water drops," AccuWeather said.