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10 stunning images of rainbows and their less-famous cousins

Sept. 24, 2012, 6:01 p.m.
Rainbow

Photo: NASA/Terje O. Nordvik

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Six rainbows across Norway

When does the color scheme ROYGBIV get reversed? This will never happen in the primary rainbow, but a reflection might reverse the order of colors. NASA explains it this way: “multiple internal reflections inside water droplets sometimes make a secondary rainbow to become visible outside the first, with colors reversed.” Pictured here are multiple rainbows photographed in Norway on Sept. 12, 2007. The third rainbow (the one in between the primary and secondary ones) was caused by sunlight that had first reflected off the lake, according to NASA. If you look into the lake itself, you'll see three more reflections of rainbows.