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News » Follow a Wexford Rainbow 2017-11-03

New Ross Rainbow

Driving around the Irish countryside, the Glen Fuels team has the privilege of experiencing first-hand all the beauty of the Irish countryside.

On this wet, dull and cold morning, we thought we'd share a slice of stunning rural Ireland with you taken in New Ross. This picture captures so much of what Ireland is about: rolling hay fields, a threatening sky, a determined sliver of sunlight, wind energy and not one, but two rainbows.

Have you ever wondered how a rainbow is formed?

The brighter (primary) rainbow occurs when sunshine breaks through the clouds and beams towards the raindrops. A portion of this light comes into contact with the falling raindrops and bends in a process called refraction, which in turn causes the sunlight to separate into different wavelengths.

Each wavelength corresponds to a colour: red and orange correspond to longer wavelengths while blue and purple correspond to shorter wavelengths. These colours then reflect off the circular edge of the raindrop, refract again as they exit the raindrop and then travel through the air.

Because raindrops are relatively round the visual result is a spherical arc that soars all across the sky.

Are we seeing double?

During a particularly lucky scenario, two rainbows will form at the same time - this arched over my back garden one Saturday morning and it was so close it seemed to be in the garden. 

This secondary rainbow forms when refracted light does not escape the raindrop after being reflected the first time. Instead, the light reflects off the raindrop's surface a second time to produce a rainbow with its colors reversed. Because leftover, and therefore fewer, light rays take part in this process, the secondary rainbow appears less vivid.

Notice how in this picture, the secondary rainbow is a direct mirror image of the primary rainbow - red against red, followed by 

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