Rainbow Changes

July 01, 2005


Provided and copyright by: Laurent Laveder, Optics of the Atmosphere Gallery
Summary authors & editors: Laurent Laveder

The above photo composite was taken from Quimper, Bretagne, France on May 2, 2005. The leftmost photo was captured 23 minutes before sunset, while the photo at right was taken just 3 minutes before the Sun set. Note that the rainbow is shifting to the right (the southeast) because the Sun is shifting to the right (the northwest) while setting in the Northern Hemisphere. In addition, the rainbow is taller in the right picture since the Sun is lower in the sky. Furthermore, green and blue colors, still faintly visible in the photo at left, have disappeared in the right picture -- only the longer wavelengths reds and oranges are visible because the shorter wavelength colors (blue and green light) have been scattered from view.

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