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Question:
How high is the sun when you see a rainbow? How much water has to be in the air to make a rainbow?



Replies:
Typically, the sun is fairly low when you see a rainbow. This is because the sun is behind you as you view the rainbow, on a line from the center of the rainbow to your eye. (The "center" of the rainbow is the center of the partial circles in the rainbow.) When the sun is high, the rainbow has to be almost at your feet. But this is possible, perhaps with the water from a lawn sprinkler. How much water? More water makes a brighter rainbow, up to a point. Then you start to have a problem that the sun cannot illuminate enough of the drops. The best situation is when a shower is localized in the near distant in a direction opposite to the sun.



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