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The shape of rainbow is half curve circle with lots of colors. This is what I have know rainbow's shape to be all my as a kid, teenager and now as an adult. 

It has never changed. 

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2 Answers

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Short answer:

Rainbows are seen in 2 shapes,namely

  • Semi circular (Most of the times)
  • Circular as a halo rainbow around the sun


Semi circular rainbow

Semi circular rainbow

To view this kind of rainbow one must have their back facing the sun and must be approximately positioned at an angle of 40 degrees w.r.t the rainbow formation.The sun rays falling on the water droplets which act as prism refract and reflect back the rays to your eyes.

Representation of Rainbow formation
A man observing the rainbow is standing at 40 degrees to the rainbow formation

Circular rainbow(Halo rainbow)

At the Himalayas around sun

This kind of rainbow is optical phenomena formed due to millions of tiny ice crystals refracting the sunlight or moonlight. The radius of such rainbows is approximately 22 degrees.

Around moon

Post scriptum: Suggestions are most welcome :)

by 1 5
I added the images but they aren't appearing i the answer.Will answer without adding images from next time.
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by 5 36 111
I have never had the privilege to study the space or anything that is related to space like the stars, the moon, the sun and other planets which we know to be in existence today.

The same thing can be said for me when it comes to studying and knowing more about the rainbow. I have only looked at the rainbow with my bare eyes whenever it comes up in the sky probably after a heavy rainfall.

From what my eyes could see very high up in the sky about the shape of rainbow, I would say that it's half curve circled shape. I don't think that I have ever seen a rainbow that is not pictured with this exact same shape ever since my childhood. Maybe there is more to the shape of rainbow but I can't really be sure because I haven't looked at the rainbow using a telescope.
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