Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This site shows locations of the high order rainbows up to sixth order. My thought is that, There should be even higher order bows like 7th, 8th, etc. (Though they would be practically impossible to observe.)

So, Where would they appear on sky?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Wiki says that It's possible to observe higher order rainbows up to 200 in Labs using Laser beams. But, Sky observations imply the existence of first, second & rarely third but no further add-ons.

During rainbow events, both refraction & reflection occur in a raindrop. It should also be noted that reflection takes place at the inner side to a larger part. Hence, some of the incident light energy is indeed transmitted through the outer side of the drop. As reflections continue inside (as order increases), small amount of light is transmitted continuously through the other side, thereby making the bow fainter & fainter. Thus, further orders are very hard to notice. But, they still exist in theory & their location could be predicted theoretically.

Perhaps, this link is excellent regarding the calculation of higher orders. It also shows the location of higher-order bows for up to 12 - relative to the Sun-Earth system.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.