# How does the white color inside/below a rainbow arise?

Inside the rainbow all the colors of the rainbow are joint together to form white light. But how are all these different color cones formed?

We see only the outside bands of the rainbow colors but the inner parts are joint together to form white light within/below the rainbow, how is that possible?

Are perhaps all the different 'colorwaves' scattered on the tiny waterdrops and giving it a total white color which is coming into our eyes from all directions? And it is not blue, as you could think because of the dominants of blue by N2 and O2, but white because the droplets underneath the rainbow are, just the way they make the clouds white, scattered on H2O??

Is this right or is there another explanation? As you can see it is not bright white but still more white compared to the right side of the rainbow....

• Well you might be interested in this en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fog_bow It's something to do with droplet size and viewing angle. Maybe someone can bring the equations. Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 0:23
• I think you may be asking this question: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/88265/… Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 3:45
• Well that question and the answers comes really close to my question, but actually just stops where my question begin. Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 10:00
• This is quite late, but the answer is that you're looking at a blurred supernumerary bow. These are "echoes" of the rainbow due to the wave nature of light, which have gotten blurred together here to make white. Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 15:52
• Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 16:05

• Note that the brightness of the color is also affected by the fact that relatively few rays will hit the droplet at zero incidence (they have to be aligned perfectly to do that), and very few will hit the droplet at grazing incidence (the cross-section is infinitesimal.) If you take into account the cross-sectional effects, the overall intensity is multiplied by $(\sin A) (\cos A) = 2 \sin (2A)$. But that said, this doesn't affect the main conclusion: inside the rainbow arc, all colors are reflected approximately equally. Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 16:58