Nancy Pelosi concluded her John Lewis eulogy remembering a double rainbow she saw over his casket, on a day it didn’t rain:
“He was telling us, ‘I am home in heaven’…We always knew he worked on the side of the angels. And now, he is with them.”
Nancy Pelosi concludes her John Lewis eulogy remembering a double rainbow she saw over his casket, on a day it didn't rain: "He was telling us, 'I am home in heaven'…We always knew he worked on the side of the angels. And now, he is with them." https://t.co/nIVSZDQVXy pic.twitter.com/MPQcnFuWsK
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 30, 2020
Double rainbows: If the hope of one pot of gold isn’t enough, sometimes Mother Nature gives us the opportunity to pursue two.
How They Form
The double-dose of atmospheric optimism is a result of optical effects occurring in tandem.
All rainbows require the presence of the sun and rain in order to form. In order to see a rainbow, the sun must be to the viewer’s back, and rain must be falling ahead of the viewer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be raining on or near the viewer, but rain must be present ahead of the viewer towards the horizon.
As sunshine breaks through the clouds and beams towards the raindrops, some of the light encounters the raindrops and bends – this process is called refraction. When the light refracts, the process causes the sunlight to separate into different wavelengths. These different wavelengths correspond to different colors: red and orange correspond to longer wavelengths, while blue and purple correspond to shorter wavelengths.
The refracted light waves then bounce – or reflect – off of the circular edge of the raindrop, and then they refract again as they exit the raindrop and travel through the air.
Because raindrops are relatively round when the sunlight refracts through them, the visual result is a spherical arc that soars all across the sky. Viewers who are lucky enough to see a whole rainbow will observe a colorful arc spanning the entire Earth, from end to end.