Posted on October 19, 2012
Posted by John Scalzi
And yes, these were happening at the same time. It was just a matter of turning 180 degrees.
It doesn’t suck to live here.
It’s cold and dark here! 52 F!
You are just taunting us at this point.
Have you taken your shovel to that red barn, yet? I’m thinking there’s some gold buried there.
Hmm, that’s not West; not if the top one is East. So, not 180°, either. The vertical bisector of the rainbow has to be directly opposite the rising sun, and since a rainbow is about 84° in diameter, I’d say you turned (180 ± 84/2)° = either 138° or 222°. To narrow it down further, I really need to know whether you turned left or right?
STOP WITH YOUR EXACTITUDE YOU NERDY NERD NERDNIK.
Also, I turned 180 degrees, and then from that vantage point aimed my camera slightly to the south west.
Although this does bring up a technical point I was wondering about. It seemed to me, at least, that the rainbow was one of the tallest/widest/etc that I’d seen, and I hypothesized that — if in fact it wasn’t just an optical illusion — it might be because the sun was so low in the sky, i.e., literally right over the horizon, and I was seeing more of the arc. Thoughts on that?
Annie: He’s only doing that to the tauntable. And only since 1998. ;-)
John Scalzi: Yup, low sun = big rainbow, because these three things: (a) the sun behind you, (b) your head, and (c) the dead centre (pardon my Scottish!) of the rainbow in front of you, always lie in a straight line a-b-c. Think of yourself as the dog recovering from surgery, the rainbow as one of those conical head funnel collars, and the sun steering you, using your tail as a rudder!
Hugh: It doesn’t say “Taunting only the tauntable” so your conclusion, while apparently reasonable, is not necessarily logically sound. It’s possible that he’s also taunting the untauntable, and even that he has been doing so for much longer. We just can’t know from the presented information.
@John: Yup. Rainbows are circles, and are directly opposite the Sun on a line drawn THROUGH YOUR HEAD. So the higher in the sky the sun-you-rainbow line ends, the more you see.
I am delighted to see that my understanding of basic geometry is sound.
“It doesn’t suck to live here.” I rather like that for the next Ohio slogan on our license plates. It certainly sounds better than “The Heart of it All.”
@John Kerr: Best rainbow/dog analogy I’ve read in a long time.
That is just gorgeous. It was dark here about that time – or maybe it was just that my eyes were closed. The first morning I actually slept through sunrise in over a week…
Lucky you! It’s good to love where you live! Enjoy!
Ohio: It doesn’t suck to live here.
More like “Ohio: It doesn’t suck to live here ALL the time.”
Another way of describing the geometry involved is what I say to my students: What is at the exact center of every rainbow you see? The shadow of your own head.
In that sense, you can say that there is no such thing as “a” rainbow that we all see–each of us sees a slightly different rainbow that is all our own.
Matt O nailed it. If you fly much, and grab window seats, it’s not too unusual to see a full circular rainbow directly opposite the sun.
Lovely. It looks as thought the rainbow was shooting out of the ground – nice effect.
Also nice to see from an airplane window seat is a glory. They are a small full circle rainbow (once I saw a double rainbow glory but couldn’t capture the outer one on my camera) with an airplane-shaped shadow in the middle of it.
Lemme get this straight: It’s early morning; looking eastward one sees the sun is barely up, but looking westward the sky appears to be much brighter – blue rather than black.
This suggests that either there is a huge difference in exposure length/aperture between the first and second image, or Ohio does sunrises differently than the rest of the world … or perhaps I’m really dim and in need of enlightenment. Heh-heh.
Taunting the tauntable since 1998
John Scalzi, proprietor – JS
Athena Scalzi, editor/writer -AMS
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