Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Science in Nature

After the recent rains we had the pleasure of this beautiful view from our front yard. Nate immediately broke into song, singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (from having heard it over the summer when Carly performed in the Musical Theater West http://www.musical.org/ production of the Wizard of Oz). Aside from the song that spontaneously arose, so did many questions about rainbows.

Here are some favorite things that we learned:
*Each individual raindrop refracts a single color - we see only one color for each raindrop.
*No matter how far you walk, you will never reach a rainbow - it is an optical illusion.
*Raindrops act as prisms bending the light from the sun, making a rainbow into an arc shape.
*The sun is always behind you when you see a rainbow.
*You will never see a square or rectangular rainbow!

We made our own rainbow with a few drops of water on a glass container and a magnifying glass. It worked, but our rainbow was not half as gorgeous as the ones we've seen made by nature!

For a scientific explanation of rainbows go to: http://www.eo.ucar.edu/rainbows/
Micayla enjoyed the learning about all kinds of weather at their site for kids:http://www.eo.ucar.edu/kids/index.html

1 comment:

metasequoia said...

Beautiful rainbow! Emma's not feeling well right now, but I bookmarked the weather site you listed. She's been very interested in weather lately, particularly tornadoes. I know she'll enjoy reading more about them.