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Why is a rainbow curved in shape? When dispersion of light takes place, light splits into seven colors, but when rainbow is formed it appear to be bent. Why does this happen even though light travels in a straight line?

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    $\begingroup$ This question shows no research efforts. Such questions can be answered by single Google search. $\endgroup$ – Schrödinger's Cat Feb 15 '14 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ By the way, the Wikipedia article you linked has some explanations on it. $\endgroup$ – Martin Ueding Jul 17 '14 at 11:50
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Let me answer this one with some drawings:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Thats wrong! The angle should be roughy 40.6 degrees. Not 42 degrees. As you’ve done in your first picture $\endgroup$ – Aaryan Dewan Feb 4 '16 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, sorry. I remembered 42 degrees but perhaps that number just seemed legitimate from the Hitchhiker's Guide? The wikipedia article says 42 all over the place and has “The light leaving the rainbow is spread over a wide angle, with a maximum intensity at the angles 40.89–42°” in one image caption. So 42 does not seem too wrong? $\endgroup$ – Martin Ueding Feb 4 '16 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ Not ‘too’ wrong, but yeah, ‘much’ wrong :p $\endgroup$ – Aaryan Dewan Feb 4 '16 at 11:31

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