Archive for October, 2008

rainbows

October 27, 2008

The techical details of rainbow formation were first analyzed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1665. His brilliant optics work concerning reflection and refraction certainly does not detract from the beauty and promise of the rainbow. On the contrary, Newton’s scientific insights show the moarvelous complexity of creation. The rainbow is a gracious pledge God will not destroy the earth a second time with a worldwide flood (Genesis 9: 11-17).

“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of a covenant between me and the earth… Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” (Genesis 9:13,15)

A rainbow occurs when raindrops and sunshine cross paths. Sunlight consists of all the colors of light, which add together to make white illumination. When sunlight enters water drops, it reflects off their inside surfaces. While passing through the droplets, he light also separates into its component colors, which is similar to the effect of a glass prism. Each falling water drop actually flashes its colors to the observer for just an instant, before another drop takes its place.

A rainbow is usually seen in the opposite direction in the sky from the sun. The rainbow light is reflected to the eye at an angle of 42° to the original ray of sunlight. The bow shape is actually part of a cone of light that is cut off by the horizon. If you travel toward the end of a rainbow, it will move ahead of you, maintaining its shape. Because the 42°  angle is measured form each individual’s eye, no two people see exactly the same rainbow.


The bright, primary rainbow has red on the outer edge and blue within. Higher in the sky there is always another, dimmer rainbow with the oder of colors reversed. This secondary rainbow results from additional sulight reflection through the raindrops. It is most visible when there are dark clouds behind it.

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extremes

October 20, 2008

The earth has a vast surface area, nearly 200 million square miles. A great variation in weather covers this expanse. The following list describes just a few places with unusual distinctions:

Mt. Waialeale in Kauai, Hawaii
averages 460 inches of rain (38 feet) each year. At an altitude of nearly a mile, the cold temperatures squeeze the moisture from rising ocean air.
Northern Chile
is one of the driest places on earth. Cold ocean currents prevent the formation of clouds, and in places there is no recorded rain in over 400 years. Ground water and dew formation allow the growth of hardy grasses.
Central Uganda in Africa
averages 242 thunderstorm days a year.
Libya
had the highest air temperature ever recorded. In 1922, in the shade, the temperature was 136° F. Death Valley, California has recorded a temperature of 134° F.
Antarctica
has the lowest temperature ever recorded, which was -129° F in 1983.
Silver Lake, Colorado
recorded 6.3 feet of snowfall in a 24 hour period in 1921.
Holt, Missouri
experienced 12 inches of rain in just 42 minutes, in 1947.

People live near each of the above locations, in spite of the weather extremes. The Creator has given an abundance of plants and animals that thrive in seemingly impossible places. He is in control.

pennies

October 16, 2008

Next year, the design on the US penny will change for the first time in 50 years. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the US Mint will replace the Lincoln Memorial on the back to four different scenes from Lincoln’s life. The first pennies will be released on February 12th, 2009 (Licoln’s actual birthday) and feature the log cabin where he was born in Kentucky. The other designs will be introduced in three-month intervals