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I Rainbows on Tatooine

  1. Sep 11, 2017 #1
    I know it did not rain on Tatooine and the planet does not exist.

    My question is would a rainbow look like on a planet in a binary star system?

    Assume that it does rain, the raindrops come in a broad range of sizes including some showers with fairly uniform drop size, and that there is an atmosphere with similar density and light scattering as earth.

    I expect that blue stars will have more intense blue bands and red stars create more intense red. Is that always correct?

    I believe the rainbow would be identical to a rainbow on earth at the point where the bow's tangent line is parallel to the line connecting the stars. I am not sure what happens on the rest of the arc. Would it look like a reflection rainbow. Except that the arcs would not converge at the horizon.
    triple-rainbow-450x450.jpg


    It is also not clear to me what supernumary rainbows would look like. They are created by an interference pattern but does that mean a binary star system has more of them, less, or relatively the same?

    w-033-03.jpg


    Feel free to add any ideas on what effect a different atmosphere would have.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2017 #2

    mfb

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    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    It also depends on the atmosphere, but in general: sure.

    Multiple stars in the sky simply lead to multiple independent rainbows. If their brightness ratio is large, it will be hard to see rainbows from the dimmer star.
     
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