Dear Tom,
Dear Tom,
While viewing a vivid rainbow, my son Angelo (age 5) asked me where the end of the rainbow was. He wanted us to drive to that location. Is there ever an end point of a rainbow?
—Anthony Giannone
Dear Anthony,
There is no such thing as a “rainbow’s end point.” A rainbow is an optical illusion caused by water droplets when viewed from a certain angle relative to a light source. Therefore, a rainbow cannot be physically approached. It is not located at a specific distance from the observer. Even when you see another person who seems to be “under” a rainbow, that other person will see a different rainbow, farther off, at the same angle as seen by the first observer. Rainbows always appear directly opposite the position of the sun, and usually when the sun is low in the sky.