Wednesday, 25 February 2009

After the rain....

This year's monsoon has certainly been a bit awkward with more days of bright sun than heavy rain, probably contributing in part to our recent bushfires.... The past few days has marked the return of the rain, and as the rain abated a little on the way home today, this was the sight that greeted me.
OMG!! My 1st double rainbow! 2nd one's a bit washed out tho on TwitPic

A double rainbow!!! Yar, I know, there's only one really obvious rainbow, with a really faint one just above it. Was taking this from the train with my trusty SE C905 as the train was pulling into the station. Quite a few of the other passengers were giving me queer looks but another guy at least was doing the same thing! ^_^ Was too slow to get a full shot but the more obvious rainbow was a full one! Reaching across the horizon, and the faint secondary one was partial, and fading really fast.....
And here's another one from the bus. By then the secondary rainbow faded out quite a bit, and when I showed this to mum, she thought it was just a reflection!

Just got so excited that I posted the photos directly from my hp and they hit the web before I even got home!!

So how to double rainbows come about? Most of us probably know that a rainbow results from the bending of light as it passes through suspended water droplets, resulting in our run-of-the-mill seven coloured rainbow. The colours come about due to the different wavelengths of different coloured light that actually blend together in the visible (to human eyes) spectrum. On rarer occasions, a fainter secondary arc can be observed, with the order of the colours reversed. (I know this isn't really obvious in my shots since it looks more like a shadow of a rainbow rather than an actual rainbow....) The detailed explanation seems to be here. But from what I can understand, as the sunlight passes through the water droplets, it is sometimes REFLECTED aka mirrored after it has been REFRACTED aka bent, resulting in the mirror image secondary rainbow. Cool eh? Probably need to do some tinkering with the image contrast to make it more visible ^_^

The quick Wikipedia search also made me realised that the rainbow has certainly captured the hearts of many people across cultures and heritages. Seems like just about every civilisation seems to have a story or two in their mythology or religion that involves rainbows. The most commonly heard one is probably the one about the leprachaun's pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (which is in fact impossible to find since a full rainbow is basically a circle). Though the one that I am most familiar with is the one from the Bible, where God uses the rainbow to indicate his promise that there would not be another flood like the one Noah survived. (Genesis 9:13-15) It's a good reminder for me even as the recent rumblings of climate change and sea level rise threaten to put me in a frenzy.... That there's still hope ^_^ Interestingly enough, the Epic of Gilgamesh, a poem from Ancient Mesopotamia, also seems to indicate that the rainbow has similar promise of sorts with regards to a great flood....

Here's the links to the original postings:
(1) TwitPic
(2) Facebook (think only friends and friends of friends can see this....)


koksheng said...

our rainbow sighting!

boonleong said...

How rainbows are formed!

EUNICEEESH(: said...

hey juanhui!
nice rainbow(:

i saw the rainbow too! cool! i was somewhere on the red line when i saw it. lol.