Double Rainbow: What Does it Mean?

After posting on the meaning of weather forecasting, I can’t resist pointing your attention to a unique video on double rainbows and the question of what they mean. The heartfelt expression of awe captured in this video gained widespread attention on the web, and the author of the work was extensively interviewed soon after it went viral. I won’t bother listing any other links … it’s all over the internet, just search if you’re interested.

When I first showed some family members this video, it was amusing to witness the debate between two family members (who shall remain nameless). Mystical family member kept remarking on what an ecstatic, spiritual experience the man was having, while scientific family member kept saying that he was clearly “on something.” Their exchange was most amusing; you had to be there.

I’ve seen a handful of double rainbows in my life, and it’s always a great pleasure to observe these rare and beautiful phenomena. My most recent sighting was a few months ago driving up First Street Louth in St. Catharines with my son. He was driving, which allowed me to get a really good look. The most spectacular one I saw was about ten years ago, driving my wife to Pearson airport in Toronto.

As usual, knowing the science behind rainbows deepens one’s appreciation for these beautful phenomena. Check here or here for good explanations of rainbows; the latter site has an applet that might be fun for some to play with.


About Santo D'Agostino

I have taught mathematics and physics since the mid 1980s. I have also been a textbook writer/editor since then. Currently I am working independently on a number of writing and education projects while teaching physics at my local university. I love math and physics, and love teaching and writing about them. My blog also discusses education, science, environment, etc. Further resources, and online tutoring, can be found at my other site
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