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Rainbow

1,128 bytes added, 21:20, 19 April 2007
Reverted edits by [[Special:Contributions/AL|AL]] ([[User_talk:AL|Talk]]); changed back to last version by [[User:Ed Poor|Ed Poor]]
[[Image:Rainbow.jpg|thumb|400px|right|A rainbow, seen from the island of CuraƧao. Note: the bright spot is a clearing in the clouds; the sun is ''behind'' the photographer.]]
A According to [[Genesis]] 9:11-17, after the Flood [[God]] told [[Noah]] that henceforth the rainbow is a semiwould remind God and Mankind of God's promise never to flood the [[Earth]] again.<ref>Genesis 9:11-circular colour spectrum appearing 17, "And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the sky due cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh."</ref> Physics can explain the appearance of rainbows accurately as the result of refraction and multiple reflections of sunlight in droplets of water, but not the feelings of awe and spirituality rainbows inspire, as they did in [[William Wordsworth]] when he wrote: &nbsp;&nbsp;My heart leaps up when I behold<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;A rainbow in the sky:<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;So was it when my life began;<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;So is it now I am a man;<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;So be it when I shall grow old,<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Or let me die!<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;The Child is father of the Man;<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I could wish my days to be<br>&nbsp;&nbsp;Bound each to each by natural piety.<ref>William Wordsworth, [http://www.bartleby.com/145/ww194. html "My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold] (1802)</ref> Rainbows appear when water droplets are lit by direct sunlight, a condition that rarely occurs ''during'' a storm, because the clouds block the sun. Rainbows are frequently seen ''after'' a storm, when the falling rain has moved into the distance and the sun is roughly behind the observer when the observer is facing the patch of rain.
Complete circular rainbows can be seen under the right conditions; in particular, when viewing the mists over Niagara Falls early or late in the day. Circular rainbows can sometimes be seen from an airplane when it flies over clouds, the rainbow actually encircling the airplane's shadow on the clouds. One way to think about the rainbow is that the mist or rain is like a projection screen, and the rainbow can only be seen where the projection screen is. When the projection screen is large enough, you see the entire circular rainbow.
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