Rainbows: Magic or Science?

Yesterday, the CBC Staff  observed an incredible display of nature. Rainbows colored the afternoon skies of New Bedford, literally stopping traffic in front of CBC, as passengers stopped to enjoy the view. Rainbows are one of the most beautiful spectacles nature has to offer; so beautiful that it’s not surprising the phenomenon has inspired countless tales, legeneds, songs, paintings, and myths.


In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification of the rainbow and messanger of the gods; who carried messages from the gods on Mount Olympus to the mortals below.


The Norse Gods are said to have built a rainbow bridge called the Bifrost between their dewlling-place, Asgard, and the earth.


In the Hindu tradition, the rainbow body is the highest meditative state attainable. The four elements that make up the body dissolve symbolically into the rainbow light.

All myths and legends considered, the science of rainbows is really very simple. It’s just basic optics! Explore the science behind rainbows – learning about how raindrops, refraction, and wavelengths make the colorful arcs – in the videos below!