Physics Question #3663

Jestin, a 36 year old male from India asks on October 18, 2006,

Why rainbow is a bow?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on October 18, 2006

Rainbows are caused by drops of water which are spherical, that is: they have a round shape, so the rainbow is round. If you could see the whole rainbow, it would be a circle, but usually the Earth's horizon cuts off the bottom half of the circle from our vision. Sometimes when flying in an airplane in the right conditions, you can see the whole round rainbow if you are lucky to be high enough so the horizon does not cut it off.

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