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why is a rainbow always formed in a semi circular shape?

why is a rainbow always formed in a semi circular shape?


2 Answers

mukul chandrakar
35 Points
4 years ago
because in our vision horizon seems to be bend due spherical same of earth .. same with rainbow formed in sky its end at horizon seems to be bend thus forming semi circular shape according to us.
25763 Points
4 years ago
A rainbow is a reflection of sunlight, diffracted into its spectrum, on water droplets in the atmosphere. The spherical shape of water droplets aligns the spectrum into a band of parallel rays.

Since it is a reflection of the sun, a rainbow can only be seen at the geometric locus of points in the sky that form a specific angle between the sun, themselves and the observer. That locus is a circle and at the center of the circle should be the point in sky directly opposite to the sun, since the droplets reflect the light backwards at a 40-42 degree angle from the incident trajectory.

Fully circular rainbows have been observed from airplanes, with the airplane's shadow at their center

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