Yesterday we saw a beautiful double rainbow. It hovered in the gray sky, two full arcs glowing with iridescent colors. The photos captured some of the splendor that we saw.
I can easily picture how ancient Greeks connected the sight of a rainbow with a goddess.
“In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. She is also known as one of the goddesses of the sea and the sky. Iris links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other, and into the depths of the sea and the underworld.”
Image: Iris on a Greek vase, from Louvre Museum
A more scientific description:
“Rainbow takes the form of a multicoloured arc appearing in the sky. A rainbow is not an object and cannot be physically approached. It comes from an optical illusion caused by water droplets viewed from a certain angle relative to the Sun. The rainbow is caused by light being refracted when entering a droplet of water, then reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it.
In a double rainbow, a second arc is seen outside the primary arc, and has the order of its colours reversed, with red on the inner side of the arc.”