Rainbows, Mirages, and the Green Flash.

Environmental studies Evidently, in this paper we are going to focus on the refraction phenomena. On that it is worth noting that the phenomenon has been attributed to a number of occurrences in nature. Apparently, we are going to give a brief overview of the rainbow, mirages and green flash as some of the occurrences that use the concept of refraction of light.

On the contrary, refraction can be defined as the bending of light as it passes through a medium which is less dense to a medium that is denser.Notably, both mediums need to be transparent. It is clear that the formation of the rainbow borrows this concept. On that point rainbows are formed when white light from the sun travels through the raindrops. Apparently, dispersion occurs, which is the separation of white light into its constituent colors as a result of the refraction. Notably, if one needs to see the rainbow, one must look towards the sun. Essentially, the level of the sky does not matter, however, the colours appears at different parts of the sky for instance red appears on the high sky an violet on the lower. On that point, the secondary rainbow occurs when the colours in the raindrop after being refracted are reflected twice and it appears above the primary rainbow. On the contrary, supernumerary arcs can be defined as the shades of pink and green observed under the primary rainbow.

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Mirage can be defined as the phenomenon of bending light travelling into the warmer low density medium to the ground. Evidently, the inferior medium is commonly observed in the desert and this form of refraction makes hot, dry surfaces appear wet. In addition, superior mirage occurs when the air next to the ground is cold and thus rays are bent away from the ground. Incidentally, we can distinguish superior and inferior mirages by their effect, for instance, inferior mirages, cause an inverted image of the object on the ground while in superior, the image appears upright, in other words makes mountains appear longer.

Lastly, green flash occurs when the sun is setting and it involves the bending of light in the upper atmosphere. Notably, the bending is usually exaggerated. It is worth noting that the occurrence is hard to spot. Notably, I have never seen the phenomenon. To this end, refraction has vast application in nature, thus an interesting topic to study.


The formation of rainbows, mirages, and the green flash. (2005, September 14). The formation of rainbows, mirages, and the green flash. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from http://www.atmo.arizona.edu/courses/spring14/atmo170a1s4/1S1P_stuff/atmos_optical_phenomena/optical_phenomena.

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