Rainbows

This passage discusses how rainbows are formed.

Lexile Level: 990L

Categories: Science & Technology Animals & Nature


After a cool spring rain, step outside and you might see a beautiful rainbow. Rainbows show up in clear skies after a rain shower or near waterfalls where small droplets of water are still in the air. When sunlight shines through these water droplets, an optical phenomenon called a rainbow occurs. A rainbow is an arc of seven colors that stretches across the sky. The seven colors of the rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. An easy way to remember these colors is by using a mnemonic, or word trick, like the name "Roy G. Biv" or "Ring Out Your Granny's Boots In Vinegar." The first letter of each word in the mnemonic is the same as the first letter of each color in the rainbow. Sometimes you may see a second rainbow that is fainter in color with colors in the reverse order. This rainbow is called a double rainbow. Some people have even seen rainbows at night! This is called a moonbow or nighttime rainbow. Moonbows occur on nights when the stars are really bright.


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