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Comprehension STOP Use your dictionary to find out the meaning of the bold words below. i a R


!


In 1666, a scientist called Isaac Newton discovered


that if sunlight passed through a triangular piece of glass called a prism, the white light would split into a band of seven colours. This band of colours was made up of red,


orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet light. These are the colours of the rainbow in the order that they appear.


After it rains, the air in the atmosphere is filled with raindrops. Each raindrop acts like a tiny prism. If sunlight passes through raindrops at just the right angle, the light is split into an arc of colours with red on the outside of the arc and violet on the inside. So, rainbows happen when sunlight and rain join together. The angle for each colour of a rainbow is different, because the colours slow down at different speeds when they enter the raindrop. The light leaves the raindrop in one colour, depending on the angle it came in, so we see only one colour coming from each raindrop.


The most brilliant rainbow displays occur when part of the sky is still dark with rainclouds and the viewer is in a sunny spot facing the sun. This creates a very bright and vivid rainbow against the dark background. Sometimes it is possible to see a second arc or double rainbow. This is caused by a double reflection of sunlight inside the raindrops.


If you’re hoping to find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you may be disappointed to find out that there is no real end of the rainbow. This is because rainbows do not actually exist in a particular location in the sky. A rainbow’s position depends on the location of the observer and the position of the sun.


80


Unit 14 | Explanatory Text 2


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