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Friday, July 03, 2020

‘Rainbows are circles’: Mesmerising video blows people’s minds

Shared by the handle Wonder of Science, the 28-second video captured from a high-rise building shows the colourful rings in all its splendour -- extending from the skies to the ocean below.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Published: June 6, 2020 1:45:42 pm
People are now thinking if it’s correct to call it a rainbow, as it’s not really an arc in reality. (Source: @wonderofscience/ Twitter)

Did you know rainbows are not semi-circle but a full circle? Well, in case you didn’t know, you’re not alone. Thousands of netizens were surprised to find this out after a video of a full rainbow went viral on Twitter.

Shared by the handle Wonder of Science, the 28-second video captured from a high-rise building shows the colourful rings in all its splendour — extending from the skies to the ocean below. The footage of the rare sight has mesmerised many online, garnering nearly 4 lakh views so far.

Watch the videos here:

Most people seemed unaware that rainbows are not arcs but full circles, and said the fact blew their minds. Amused by the natural phenomenon, many wondered when they could catch a glimpse of the rare occurrence themselves. A few jokingly said they were disappointed to not find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow referring to a popular myth.

According to EarthSky, when sunlight and raindrops combine to make a rainbow, they usually form a whole circle of light in the sky. However, it’s rarely visible as “the bottom part of a full-circle rainbow is usually blocked by (your) horizon”.

The official website of the United Kingdom’s Met Office also explained, “The key factor that determines how much of a rainbow we see is our visual reference point. In most cases we only see less than half of a circle – the characteristic rainbow arc we are all familiar with.

“A rainbow’s centre is directly opposite the position of the sun in the sky, so more of a rainbow can be seen as the sun approaches the horizon. Therefore you will normally see the greatest percentage of a rainbow (50%) at sunrise or sunset,” it further explained.

Although the full circle rainbow can be observed from higher altitudes like mountain tops, the article said the best chances are for pilots who have a much better view from up front than windows from the cabin.

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