Author Donald Ahrens in his text Meteorology Today describes a rainbow as “one of the most spectacular light shows observed on earth”. Indeed the traditional rainbow is sunlight spread out into its spectrum of colors and diverted to the eye of the observer by water droplets. The “bow” part of the word describes the fact that the rainbow is a group of nearly circular arcs of color all having a common center.
Although the most common rainbow is a single crescent containing every color from red through violet, if you pay close attention, you will discover that rainbows come in a surprising variety of colors and shapes. And scientists are finally figuring out why.
From Middle English reinbowe, reinboȝe, from Old English reġnboga (“rainbow”), from Proto-Germanic *regnabugô (“rainbow”), equivalent to rain + bow (“arch”). Cognate with West Frisian reinbôge (“rainbow”), Dutch regenboog (“rainbow”), German Regenbogen (“rainbow”), Danish regnbue (“rainbow”), Swedish regnbåge (“rainbow”), Icelandic regnbogi (“rainbow”).
XKCD (licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License).
Bible verses about rainbows (Genesis 9:12-17 and others)
God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations; I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth…”
Skybrary is a carefully curated, ever-expanding interactive library of digital books and video explorations designed to engage young readers and foster a love of learning.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)
Rainbow Bridge is one of the world’s largest known natural bridges. The span has undoubtedly inspired people throughout time–from the neighboring American Indian tribes who consider Rainbow Bridge sacred, to the 85,000 people from around the world who visit it each year.
Started in 2006, Antioch’s program is, to its leaders’ knowledge, the country’s first and only graduate-level L.G.B.T.-affirming clinical psychology specialization.