The refraction, reflection, and dispersion of light cause the natural phenomenon known as a rainbow. Seven different shades can be seen in a rainbow which is a result of this dispersion. Violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red, or VIBGYOR in short, are color bands in the rainbow. Although it is assumed that the rainbow is an arc, it is a full circle. Rainbows bring you delight, whether you are of any age. Despite the fact that many individuals occasionally experience rainbows, relatively few are aware of the meaning of rainbows colors. Let’s start this colourful journey to know in depth the 12 different types of rainbows and what does each colors of the rainbow represent.
1. Why are there only 7 Colors in a Rainbow?
Scientists like Robert Boyle felt that the rainbow only included 5 hues, and he documented this belief in his book Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours where he laid down facts about 5 colors which were Red, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Isaac Newton conducted experiments with a prism and discovered the colors that make up the visible spectrum. He separated the purple color into indigo and violet and added orange to the previous five colors.
Some believe that even though he observed only 5 colors in the experiment, he should add two more to produce the number 7 as it holds utmost importance as there are seven days in a week, till then only 7 planets were discovered, etc. Before we discuss the meaning of rainbows colors, you can also check out the article on how many colors are in the Rainbow?
2. What are the 12 Different Types of Rainbows?Photo by Nuno Antunes on Unsplash
You must be shocked after knowing that are more than one rainbow, that’s how magical nature is. So, 12 different types of rainbows are:
- Primary rainbow: It is one of the most commonly seen rainbows wherein two streaks of red and purple appear after a rain shower.
- Secondary rainbow: It generally appears next to the primary rainbows and it will be less diffused than the latter. A dark band forming these two rainbows is known as Alexander’s dark band.
- Reflected rainbow: Just below the horizon, a rainbow reflecting on the lake can be seen.
- Reflection rainbow: When the sunlight is reflected by a body of water before it enters the raindrops, a reflection rainbow is created.
- Moonbow or Lunarbow: A moonbow is a rainbow that forms as the result of the same phenomena but with the only difference in which moonlight is used for its formation rather than sunlight. As a result, it is sometimes called a lunar rainbow.
- Red rainbow or monochrome rainbow: All seven colors of the rainbow may not always have a chance to be observed when a rainbow appears after rainfall at early sunrise or sunset. A red rainbow or monochromatic rainbow results from the red hue with the longest wavelength scattering the most in this scenario.
- Sleet Rainbow: Sleet is the phenomenon that occurs when ice particles fall as precipitation. Therefore, the rainbow generated in this circumstance also forms in the same manner. The sole distinction is that light now passes through ice pellets rather than raindrops, giving rise to the term sleet bow for the resulting rainbow.
- Fog bows: Instead of raindrops, fog bows are created by tiny clouds and fog droplets. These fog droplets scatter light, creating white rainbows with faint red and blue bands toward the center and outside, respectively. They can emerge everywhere there is thin fog and chilly air.
- Supernumerary rainbows: When sunlight strikes water drops that are 1 mm or smaller, supernumerary rainbows appear. The major bow of a rainbow with various pastel hues appears in this form as one or more softly colored bands.
- Double rainbows: When raindrops reflect the sun’s beams twice, a double rainbow is created. Comparing the secondary rainbow to the primary rainbow, the color pattern is inverted. A dark group known as Alexander’s band is situated between these bows.
- Twinned rainbow: Twinned rainbows, which occur when two rainbows split from the same spot, are the reason why rainbows develop with the same color band. The fact that they are all the same hue is an uncommon phenomenon. The colors of the twin rainbows are in the same pattern and not in reverse order, in contrast to the double rainbow.
- Extraterrestrial rainbows: Titan, the moon of Saturn, is said to experience extraterrestrial rainbows. Here, the rainbow’s radius is 49°, and the atmosphere’s methane content is what causes the reflection and forms the rainbow.
3. What is the Biblical Meaning of Rainbow?
After getting to know about the 12 different types of rainbows, let us understand the significance of the meaning of rainbows colors in the holy bible. The Holy Bible often referred to as the Word of God contains various instances of events that contain symbolism but from Genesis to Revelation, it is only mentioned 7 times. Noah though a very significant one is not the only mention of rainbows. Verse Revelation 4:3 symbolises the Rainbow as green by citing its appearance behind the throne of God and Ezekiel 1:28 mentions the glory of God by mentioning that God appeared to Ezekiel in the form of a rainbow.
Further, the Bible establishes the meaning of rainbows colors as a sign of hope since God flooded Earth to rinse evil and marked the beginning of a new era of a brighter future, establishing the rainbow as God’s promise to humanity. (See Why Do Rainbows Form?)
4. What is the Meaning of Rainbows Colors?
The whole rainbow has traditionally stood for optimism and fresh starts, which many may also see as evidence of change. Let’s explore and understand the meaning of rainbows colors in more detail:
A. RedPhoto by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash
The first or highest color in the rainbow spectrum is this one. It has the longest wavelength compared to others. The visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum encompasses this shade. It is a color that represents vibrancy and strong emotions. Must read Why is the Sun Red?
The second hue from the top of a rainbow is orange. Red and yellow are both components of this shade. We frequently get to witness this color in the form of an orangish-red hue between sunset and dawn. It is believed to represent creativity, ambition, endurance, and happiness.
C. YellowPhoto by Alex on Pexels
The third and the best color in the rainbow is yellow color. Red and green can be combined to create this shade. It is often associated with inspiration, clear thinking, energy, and warmth. Must see Which color is obtained by mixing red and yellow colors?
D. GreenPhoto by Todd Cravens on Unsplash
The fourth color from the bottom and the top of a rainbow is green. Near the entire spectrum, this color is located in the center. It combines the colors yellow and blue. It is a color that represents health, wealth, and growth. (See What does orange and green make?)
E. BluePhoto by Abigal Keenan on Unsplash
It is pretty simple to identify because it is the third color from the bottom. It makes us think of the heavens, the seas, and our planet. It is also known as the color of nature. Peace and calmness are what you feel when you look at this color. (See What Colors do Mixing Pink and Blue make?)
F. IndigoImage by Kanenori from Pixabay
The second color from the bottom of a rainbow is indigo. It appears to be a darker shade of blue, hence, it is challenging to differentiate. For a long time, it was not accepted as a color that should be on the rainbow however now it is there. The spectrum’s blue tint is also enhanced by it. It symbolizes harmony, spiritual attainment, and integrity.
This is the last or base color in a rainbow. Red and blue can be combined to create this shade. Given that it appears in the opposite location of red, it is the ultra-fine specialization of light. It symbolizes mystery and royalty. Must see What is the difference between indigo and violet?
5. What does Each Colors of the Rainbow Represent?
We have now gathered basic information about all the colors, let us go through the table to get a structured idea about the meaning of rainbows colors:
|Violet||Royalty and Mystery|
|Indigo||Integrity and Harmony|
|Blue||Magic, Serenity and Responsibility|
|Green||Nature and Life|
|Yellow||Warmth and Sunlight|
|Red||Passion and Energy|
6. What does Blue mean in the Rainbow?
The rainbow’s fifth color arc is blue. Archangel Michael is connected to this arc. Michael, the leader of the archangels, is a symbol of spirituality. From the list covering the meaning of rainbows colors, the color, blue stands for a connection with water and the afterlife, symbolizing peace and calmness. (See Why the sky colour is blue?)
7. What Color in the Rainbow symbolizes Life?Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels
Since you have gathered knowledge about the 12 different types of rainbows and the meaning of rainbows colors, you might know the answer to this. Green symbolizes life in the rainbow. However, green has many contradictions. Some symbolize green with wealth, jealousy or vitality, and progress. It depends on individual perceptions. Green is also associated with nature and living a natural and plant life. (See What do Ice and Cold Symbolize?)
8. What is the Best Color in the Rainbow?
Yellow is the best color in the rainbow, as it represents sunlight which further signifies vitality and warmth. It frequently evokes feelings of joy, inspiration, clarity of thought, cheerful face illustration, and communication. Our world is naturally filled with yellow things like mangoes, sunflowers, lemons, bees, ducklings, and daffodils. Yellow is the most vivid hue in the rainbow and is believed to draw our attention the fastest of all the colors. Must read Why do We Wear Black to Funerals?
9. What is a Ghost Rainbow?
Other names for fogbows are white rainbows, cloud bows, and ghost rainbows. They are made from the same sunlight and moisture mixture that produces rainbows. Always look for a rainbow that is pointing away from the sun. A fog bow is a rainbow’s shadowy sibling. Despite being infrequently witnessed, the phenomenon is just as intriguing from a scientific standpoint as the enigmatic atmospheric phenomenon.
We learned about the meaning of rainbows colors and what does each colors of the rainbow represent. Observing nature’s wonderful creations left us in awe of its beauty. I hope this blog about the different colors and 12 different types of rainbows helps you gain some knowledge by answering different questions. (Also read What does it mean When a Butterfly Visits You?)