How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 330

As long as the sun is to our back, shouldn't the rainbow stay visible; instead of disappearing when we approach it?
If the sky were uniformly filled with water droplets and uniformly illuminated with sunlight, then you would always see the rainbow, no matter where you moved. However it would always appear out in the distance. The light that reaches your eyes as the rainbow comes from a broad range of distances, but it appears to come from pretty far away. As you walked toward this perceived rainbow, you would begin to see light from other raindrops, still farther away. You could never actually "reach" the rainbow. It would just move about with you; always appearing to be in the distance.

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