How to Remember the Order of the Rainbow Colors

Updated on November 16, 2012
What's an easy way to remember the order of the rainbow colors?
What's an easy way to remember the order of the rainbow colors? | Source

When drawing a rainbow, how do you know which colors go where? Luckily, there is an easy way to remember the order in which the colors of the rainbow go.

Light refracts and reflects through a raindrop, creating a rainbow.
Light refracts and reflects through a raindrop, creating a rainbow. | Source

What Causes a Rainbow?

Once you understand what causes a rainbow, you'll understand that the order of the rainbow colors isn't a random jumbling of colors that simply looks good.

A rainbow is created by something called light refraction. The color of light is actually made up of all the colors of the rainbow. As light rays travel through the air, to us they appear as white light. When sunlight hits an object, such as mist or raindrops, the rays are refracted, or bent, and then reflected off the inside of the drops. The angle of bending is different for different wavelengths of light. We observe the different wavelengths as different colors. The color red bends the most and violet the least.

A rainbow will always be in the opposite side of the sky as the sun from the observer. The rainbow colors are reflected to the eye at 42 degrees to the original ray of sunlight. Seeing a rainbow all depends on the angle of the sun in relation to where you are. This means that two people will never see the exact same rainbow!

Who is Roy G. Biv?

I would like to introduce you to someone that will become your best friend when remembering the order of the colors of the rainbow. His name is Roy G. Biv. Roy G. Biv is actually an acronym for the colors of the rainbow.

R = Red

O = Orange

Y = Yellow

G = Green

B = Blue

I = Indigo

V = Violet

Source

A note about the color indigo: Originally, Newton described only five primary colors of the rainbow. He later added orange and indigo. It is said that he added these colors so that there would be seven colors to match the seven notes in a musical scale. Some later color theorists chose to replace indigo and violet with a single hue: purple or violet. Some people are adamant about removing indigo from the rainbow colors. I personally like the look of the seven colors, as pictured above. Some people today choose to call Newton's blue cyan and indigo blue. This is up to your discretion.


A Song to Help Remember the Order of the Rainbow Colors

Here is the first paragraph of the lyrics. These are going to be the most important lines you'll want to remember.

Roy G. Biv by Neel and Patty Shukla

Here's a little song about Roy G. Biv. He makes up all the colors that you see where you live. If you know all the colors, sing them with me: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet all that you see.

If you remember the first three lines of this song, you'll have the order of the rainbow colors down cold. And trust me, this song will get stuck in your head. Good luck, and say hi to our friend Roy G. Biv for me!

Source

Had you heard about Roy G. Biv before reading this hub?

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Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Emily coats 

        2 months ago

        I like the rainbow song it so fun I sang with it very much can you put more rainbow song on it and it so fun because I like it very much thank you From: Emily coats To: author I love the rainbow song it so beautiful thank you to put some more difference music out there thank you very much your welcome thank you author very much ok and I like the video very much thank you author because I like the song very much and the reading the whole reading of paraphs

      • profile image

        caden_patton 

        4 months ago

        this helps alot. thanks for making this artical

      • profile image

        M. Cesena 

        4 months ago

        Happy Vernal Equinox/First Day of Spring. Wish I could conjure a rainbow today. Thank you for the information

      • profile image

        COOKIE-RAMA 

        6 months ago

        im at school and this helped me

      • profile image

        Gayle 

        11 months ago

        I vaguely remember a song taught to me at school.

        Richard of york.................. can't for the life of me remember the rest would help me rekindle some youth (also will help me to top my daughter making me use my little little grey cells :P

      • profile image

        Nikita 

        14 months ago

        Also

        R= Richard

        O= of

        Y= York

        G= gave

        B= battle

        I=in

        V=vain

      • profile image

        BANGIE 

        15 months ago

        Really Offensive YouTube Games Built Into Videos

      • profile image

        hosana 

        15 months ago

        Good

      • profile image

        Snehalatha Bright 

        15 months ago

        Very good

      • profile image

        Hi 

        16 months ago

        You need more rainbow colors and pictures of them to.

      • profile image

        Rodney Thompson 

        23 months ago

        You say Red bends the most and violet the least. However your diagram indicates otherwise and the sites for 'refraction' all state that red bends the least and violet the most. I think you must be wrong.

        Yours Rodney

      • profile image

        isabirye fredrick busesa 

        3 years ago

        Run Out Your Girl Betty Is Vomitting

      • profile image

        theera 

        3 years ago

        It's really help me for know the how to remembering the order of rainbow colors. ..

        roy g.biv.

      • profile image

        teacher 

        4 years ago

        Richard Of York Gain Battle In Vain-

      • Green Art profile image

        Green Art 

        5 years ago

        What a fun hub about remembering the colors of the rainbow! I will have fun teaching these ideas and songs to my grandson of five.

        The photographs used here are amazing. Love the one with the rainbow stretched across the sky. Great hub, voted up and useful!

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