Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Recent Rainbows

What are those 'rainbow spots' I've seen recently?  I see them later in the day when the sun is lowering in the sky and there are wispy clouds nearby.  With a lot of lake effects in the Niagara Peninsula, I've assumed this has to do with the moisture from the lake in the sky.

Doing a little searching, this might be cloud iridescence or 
irisation. The term comes from Iris, the Greek personification of the rainbow.  These aren't spectacular, like an arc'd rainbow over-reaching the sky, but they are compelling.  More about rainbows can be seen at this site called  They say that rainbows take many forms.  Multiple bows, bows that cross, red bows, twinned bows, coloured fringes, dark bands, spokes and more.  I found another site  with all the types and pictures. 
The explanation given:   "Sky watchers sometimes report seeing rainbow colors within clouds. These colorful clouds are called iridescent clouds. When you see a cloud like this, you know there are especially tiny ice crystals or water droplets in the air. Larger ice crystals produce solar or lunar halos, but tiny ice crystals or water droplets cause light to be diffracted– spread out – creating this rainbow-like effect in the clouds".
Through the ages, rainbows have been noted for their beauty and mystical  appearance - considered a bridge to the heavens, messenger, archer's bow, or serpent.  Wikipedia says the diversity of rainbows myths are far-reaching. 

Does each of our eyes see a different rainbow?  Yes - two people do not see the exactly same rainbow even if they are standing next to each other.  The same is true of your eyes. Just a few inches can make this happen.

Is the LGBTQ use of rainbows related to the cultures that hold forth that rainbows are able to reverse sexuality?  No - the rainbow flag was created in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, and is considered to be inspired by Judy Garland's Over the Rainbow song and college campuses flying rainbow flags in the 1960s demonstrating for world peace.

What is the Mile-long rainbow flag?  This was created by Baker for the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in 1994 - it was 2 km long. The flag utilized the basic six colours and measured thirty feet wide.  It has the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest flag.  

No comments:

Post a Comment