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5 things you may not know about rainbows

Fascinated by the colorful natural phenomena? Check out these facts.

Hyunsoo Leo Kim/The Virginian-Pilot/AP
A passing afternoon storm casts vivid rainbow over the downtown Norfolk, Va., sky on Aug. 10, 2013.

• To see a rainbow, stand with your back to the sun, just after a rain.

• The lower the sun is in the sky, the higher the rainbow will be; the higher the sun, the lower the rainbow. (In other words, the biggest rainbows appear in late afternoon.)

• The half circle of sky encompassed by the rainbow will appear brighter than the sky outside the rainbow.

• When you see a rainbow, the exact water droplets bending the light to your eye are unique to you: Everyone sees his or her own rainbow.

• A rainbow would be a full circle, except that the earth gets in the way. A full-circle rainbow may be visible when you can look down on it from an airplane – or while skydiving.

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