What is the physical mechanism underlying the rainbow phenomenon Why is a rainbow visible on the opposite side of the sky from the Sun?
The rainbow is caused by the dispersion of sunlight on raindrops. Two refractions and one or two total internal reflections occur in the drop. For an observer on the surface of the Earth, the rays emanating from the drop are projected onto the side of the sky opposite from the Sun. Due to the sphericity of the sky, the rainbow looks like an arc.
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