You know what makes a rainbow, right? Drops of water bend sunlight—this is called refraction—and each color in the sunlight bends at a slightly different angle.
A rainbow is a full circle, but because the sun is always fairly low in the sky when rainbows appear, we can usually only see the top half of the circle.
There are very rare times when we see a rainbow-colored halo around the moon, because of high icy clouds at night. There are also rare sightings from airplanes of circular rainbows, and even rarer sightings of horizon rainbows—which seem to be horizontal stripes—at sunset or dawn.
To celebrate the day, make rainbows! Find rainbows! Share rainbows!
The simplest way to make a rainbow is to spray water into the air. Remember, the sun cannot be overhead; also, you must stand with your back to the sun.
Another simple rainbow-maker is a glass prism. If you don't have a prism, do you have mirrors or glass with beveled edges? As I put the cut-glass goblets away tonight in a cabinet with beveled glass doors, I made lots of teeny rainbows.
This WikiHow page tells six different ways to make rainbows. Cool, huh?
You can make and share rainbows by making:
- even balloon arches!
- If you are really inspired, you can hold a rainbow party—since it is also World Party Day (see below)!
By the way...
I read that the Irish never believed in pots of gold at the end of rainbows. This myth got started because of a misunderstanding of an old saying. The saying went something like this (but in Gaelic): “You're as likely to find a pot of gold as you are to find the end of a rainbow.” In other words, neither of these things is going to happen!
Hat tip to Den School blog and homeschool mom Mindy!
Also on this date: