The sun creates magical moments. Sunset is one – another is beautiful rainbow; this optical and meteorological phenomenon that causes a spectrum of light to appear in the sky when the sun shines onto droplets of moisture in the Earth’s atmosphere. They take the form of a multicoloured arc, with red on the outer part of the arch and violet on the inner section of the arch. A rainbow spans a continuous spectrum of colours. Traditionally, however, the sequence is quantised.

Enjoying our summer vacation in Mariestad, Sweden brings the opportunity to stop and appreciate nature’s magical moments, and while having a quality time with my wife DianeCA, we experienced this beautiful scenery from the balcony (captured with my Nokia N82 mobile phone):

Rainbow in Scandinavia
I gladly share my trick to remember the colour sequence: Newton’s sevenfold; Red, orange, yellow, Green, Blue, indigo and violet, memorized by mnemonics ‘Roy G. Biv’).
If you like to have a closer look; click the picture to see it at my Flickr and then chose ‘All Sizes’ to bigify.

Rainbows in mythology:
The rainbow has a place in legend owing to its beauty and the historical difficulty in explaining the phenomenon. Since I always want us to learn something from my posts, let me share some of what I’ve found on the net:

In Norse Mythology, a rainbow called the Bifröst Bridge connects the realms of Ásgard and Midgard, homes of the gods and humans, respectively.
The Irish leprechaun’s secret hiding place for his pot of gold is usually said to be at the end of the rainbow.
In Greek mythology, the rainbow was considered to be a path made by a messenger (Iris) between Earth and Heaven.
In Chinese mythology, the rainbow was a slit in the sky sealed by Goddess Nüwa using stones of five different colours.


The Golden Beauty of Sunset:
Another natural phenomenon which brings magic into my life is this golden painted sky at sunset. Walking along Mariestad’s harbour with Diane one evening we experienced another quality time adventure and I had my mobile phone handy of course:
Golden beauty of Sunset #1
The red, orange or in this pic golden hues of the sky are mainly caused by scattering of sunlight by dust particles, soot particles, other solid aerosols, and liquid aerosols in the earth’s atmosphere. Sunset colours are typically more brilliant and more intense than sunrise colours, since there are generally more particles in the evening air than in the morning air. When there are no particulates in the troposphere, such as after a big rain storm, then the remaining less intense reds are explained by Rayleigh Scattering (named after the English physicist Lord Rayleigh) of sunlight by air molecules.

This picture was taken right after a rain fall and notice: at 9:30PM – so even a month after summer solstice, we still enjoy the late sunsets. It was a nice and quiet evening in fresh, crisp air (18C – 65F) – is there anything more recreational?

These magic moments are all around us every day, but we are so often too busy to stop and notice the beauty surrounding us. Maybe if we did this more often in our daily lives we would have better contact with ourselves and better enjoyment of this gift called life.

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