Imagine millions of water molecules suspending in the air starts to turn into snow, I like to know the exact reason why we cannot have snow bow, is it due to the speed of each snow falling very fast or most of the light is reflected instead off the surface of snow?

  • $\begingroup$ Well, do you know how rainbows are normally formed? $\endgroup$ – Aaron Stevens Jan 23 at 4:40
  • $\begingroup$ @AaronStevens: I know that the water molecules in the air acts like a prism and when light finally reach our eye they form into rainbow. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Jan 23 at 4:41
  • $\begingroup$ There's essentially the idea. So then would you expect similar refraction to occur for light Interacting with snow? $\endgroup$ – Aaron Stevens Jan 23 at 4:59
  • $\begingroup$ Speed has nothing to do with it. I suspect snowbows exist. Not the same size, density, etc. as rainbows, but still. The main reason we don't see them may be that it rarely snows on a sunny day. $\endgroup$ – safesphere Jan 23 at 9:01

Water molecules do not produce rainbows, water droplets do. A spherical droplet of water refracts light in a specific way that creates a rainbow. Snow is not spherical and instead of refracting visible light it mostly just scatters it. So snow appears white instead of creating a rainbow.

  • $\begingroup$ So it got nothing to do with speed I see and I don't want to use droplet because people will think I mean raining. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Jan 23 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ @user6760 A rain does produce a rainbow. Even a lawn sprinkler does. It's very easy to make. The shadow of your head always is in the center of the rainbow circle. $\endgroup$ – safesphere Jan 23 at 8:59

Not exactly snow but ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere do produce halos. https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap181221.html You can see the colors too. I am guessing that the snow flakes are too large and are not transparent venoygh to refract light


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