Alexander’s Band

$0.00

Description

Alexander's Band

Primary rainbows appear when sunlight is refracted as it enters raindrops, reflects once off the opposite interior surface, is refracted again as it escapes back into the air, and then travels towards an observer.
Primary rainbows appear when sunlight is refracted as it enters raindrops, reflects once off the opposite interior surface, is refracted again as it escapes back into the air, and then travels towards an observer.
The red band of colour on a primary rainbow appears at an angular distance of 42.4 degrees from the centre of the bow.

About the Diagram

Alexander’s band

Alexander’s band (Alexander’s dark band) is an optical effect associated with rainbows. The term refers to the area between primary and secondary bows that often appears to be noticeably darker to an observer than the rest of the sky.

  • The areas of sky around a rainbow may appear blue or grey depending on weather conditions and the amount of cloud in the sky. But these areas outside, inside and between primary and secondary rainbows tend to appear tonally different from one another:
    • The area inside the arcs of a primary rainbow always appears tonally lighter than the rest of the sky.
    • The area outside primary and secondary rainbows appears darker.
    • The area between primary and secondary rainbows appears the darkest – this is Alexander’s band.
  • Alexander’s band can be explained by the fact that fewer photons are directed from this area of the sky toward an observer.
  • The raindrops that form a primary rainbow all direct exiting light downwards towards an observer so away from Alexander’s band.
  • The raindrops that form a secondary bow all direct light upwards, so away from Alexander’s band, before a second internal reflection directs light downwards towards an observer.
  • Alexander’s band is named after Alexander of Aphrodisias, an ancient Greek philosopher who commented on the effect in his writing.
Primary rainbow

The most common atmospheric rainbow is a primary bow.

  •  Primary rainbows appear when sunlight is refracted as it enters raindrops, reflects once off the opposite interior surface, is refracted again as it escapes back into the air, and then travels towards an observer.
  • The colours in a primary rainbow are always arranged with red on the outside of the bow and violet on the inside.
  • The outside (red) edge of a primary rainbow forms an angle of approx. 42.40 from its centre, as seen from the point of view of the observer. The inside (violet) edge forms at an angle of approx. 40.70.
  • To get a sense of where the centre of a rainbow might be, imagine extending the curve of a rainbow to form a circle.
  • If your shadow is visible as you look at a rainbow its centre is aligned with your head.
  • A primary rainbow is only visible when the altitude of the sun is less than 42.4°.
  • Primary bows appear much brighter than secondary bows and so are easier to see.
  • The curtain of rain on which sunlight falls is not always large enough or in the right place to produce both primary and secondary bows.
Secondary rainbow

A secondary rainbow appears when sunlight is refracted as it enters raindrops, reflects twice off the inside surface, is refracted again as it escapes back into the air, and then travels towards an observer.

  • A secondary rainbow always appears alongside a primary rainbow and forms a larger arc with the colours reversed.
  • A secondary rainbow has violet on the outside and red on the inside of the bow.
  • When both primary and secondary bows are visible they are often referred to as a double rainbow.
  • A secondary rainbow forms at an angle of between approx. 50.40 to 53.40 to its centre as seen from the point of view of the observer.
  • A secondary bow is never as bright as a primary bow because:
    • Light is lost during the second reflection as a proportion escapes through the surface back into the air.
    • A secondary bow is broader than a primary bow because the second reflection allows dispersing wavelengths to spread more widely.
Remember that:
  • The axis of a rainbow is an imaginary line passing through the light source, the eyes of an observer and the centre-point of the bow.
  • The space between a primary and secondary rainbow is called Alexander’s band.

Some Key Terms

Rainbow

A rainbow is an optical effect produced by illuminated droplets of water. Rainbows are caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion ...

When is the best time to see a rainbow?

Rainbows are at their best early morning and late afternoon when a shower has just passed over and the Sun ...

Diagrams are free to download

Downloads: Slides or Illustrations


DOWNLOAD DIAGRAMS
  • SLIDES are optimized for viewing on-screen.
  • ILLUSTRATIONS are optimized for printing on A4 pages in portrait format.
SLIDES
  • Slides are available in JPG and AI (Adobe Illustrator) file formats.
  • Titles: Slides have titles.
  • Backgrounds: Black.
  • Size: 1686 x 1124 pixels (3:2 aspect ratio).
ILLUSTRATIONS
  • Illustrations are available in JPG and AI two file formats.
  • Titles: No titles.
  • Backgrounds: White.
  • Size: 1686 x 1124 (3:2 aspect ratio). So all illustrations reproduce at the same scale when inserted into Word documents etc.
  • Labels: Calibri 24pt Italic.

File formats: JPG & AI


DOWNLOAD THE DIAGRAM ON THIS PAGE AS A JPG FILE
  • JPG (JPEG) diagrams are 1686 x 1124 pixels (3:2 aspect ratio).
  • If a JPG diagram doesn’t fit your needs, you can download it as an AI (Adobe Illustrator) file and edit it yourself.
  • JPG files can be placed or pasted directly into MS Office documents.
DOWNLOAD THE DIAGRAM ON THIS PAGE AS AN AI file
  • All AI (Adobe Illustrator) diagrams are 1686 x 1124 pixels (3:2 aspect ratio).
  • All our diagrams are created in Adobe Illustrator as vector drawings.
  • Save as or export AI files to other formats including PDF (.pdf), PNG (.png), JPG (.jpeg) and SVG(.svg) etc.

Spelling: UK & US


We use English (UK) spelling by default here at lightcolourvision.org.

COPY & PASTING TEXT
  • After copy/pasting text please do a spell-check to change our spelling to match your own document.
DOWNLOAD DIAGRAMS
  • Download AI versions of diagrams to change the spelling or language used for titles, labels etc.
  • We are adding American English (US) versions of diagrams on request. Just contact us and let us know what you need.
  • When downloading JPG versions of diagrams, look out for JPG (UK) or JPG (US) in the download dialogue box.

Download agreement


DOWNLOAD AGREEMENT

Light, Colour, Vision & How To See More (https://lightcolourvision.org) : Copyright © 2015-2022 : MediaStudies Trust.

Unless stated otherwise the author of all images and written content on lightcolourvision.org is Ric Mann.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

No part of this website may be copied, displayed, extracted, reproduced, utilised, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or scanning without the prior written permission of MediaStudies Trust.

EXCEPTIONS

Exceptions to the above statement are made for personal, educational and non-profit purposes:

Before downloading, cutting and pasting or reproducing any information, images or other assets found on lightcolourvision.org we ask you to agree to the following terms:

  1. All information, images and other assets displayed and made available for download on the lightcolourvision.org website are copyright. This means there are limitations on how they can be used.
  2. All information, images and other assets displayed or made available for download are solely and exclusively to be used for personal, educational and non-profit purposes.
  3. When you find the resources you need, then part of the download process involves you (the user) ticking a box to let us (at lightcolourvision.org) know we both agree on how the material can be used.
  4. Please contact kiaora.lightcolourvision@gmail.com before considering any use not covered by the terms of the agreement above.

The copyright to all information, images and all other assets (unless otherwise stated) belongs to:

The Trustees. MediaStudies Trust
111 Lynbrooke Avenue
Blockhouse Bay
Auckland 0600
New Zealand
kiaora.lightcolourvision@gmail.com

We love feedback

Your name and email address will be used solely to provide you with information you have specifically requested. See our privacy policy at https://lightcolourvision.org/privacy/.


We welcome your feedback 🙂









    Note: The feedback form records the URL of the current page


    Thank you so much for your time and effort