MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Subject: If the sun were a red star, what colour would the sky be?

Date: Thu Nov 18 17:43:39 1999
Posted by esme
Grade level: School: No school entered.
City: No city entered. State/Province: No state entered. Country: UK
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 942965019.Es

I asked this of the astronomy folk, but(a) they made a slightly incorrect 
assumption, and (b) couldn`t quite answer my question. Assume an Earthlike 
planet with an Earthlike atmosphere (oxygen/nitrogen, in other words). 
Assume that the primary is a star of spectral type K or M. What colour 
would the sky be? My guess is that there won`t be enough short wavelength 
stuff for Rayleigh scattering to make the sky blue, so we`re down to pink 
from particulates, mostly around the horizon, and fairly dark overhead. Is 
that correct? If not, what would it look like -and bearing in mind that 
even a small percentage of a red giants outout is quite a lot of 
radiation, is the answer different if the primary is a giant rather than a 
main sequence star?

Re: If the sun were a red star, what colour would the sky be?

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