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Physics/Rainbow visibility in Desert.


Dear Prof Steve

Can there be possibility of Rainbow visibility in Deserts?


Hello Prashant,

If it ever rains there, yes. All it takes is sunshine, water droplets in the air, and that the line of sight of the observer make a favorable angle with the sun's rays. In this site,
scroll about 1/4th of the way down to the section heading "Explanation" where it says that the optimum angle is 42 degrees.

Some deserts are drier than others, perhaps there are some that never get rain. In that case,  possibility of a rainbow is slim - perhaps if there were a foggy mist ...

I hope this helps,


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Steve Johnson


I would be delighted to help with questions up through the first year of college Physics. Particularly Electricity, Electronics and Newtonian Mechanics (motion, acceleration etc.). I decline questions on relativity and Atomic Physics. I also could discuss the Space Shuttle and space flight in general.


I have a BS in Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering. I am retired now. My professional career was in Electrical Engineering with considerable time spent working with accelerometers, gyroscopes and flight dynamics (Physics related topics) while working on the Space Shuttle. I gave formal classroom lessons to technical co-workers periodically over a several year period.

BS Physics, North Dakota State University
MS Electrical Engineering, North Dakota State University

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