PDF Why Is The Sky Blue?

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What Makes a Sunset red?

A contemporary Robinsonade — York, York. The polar oceans and global climate — Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Earth, shot from space, as it absorbs and reflects rays of light coming from the Sun - the same white-looking rays that give our sky its colour. Duane W. Hamacher , Monash University. Author Duane W.

Why is the sky blue?

Why is the sky blue and where does it start? This is something that parents get asked every day. A blue sky over the Sahara desert in Libya.

Why is the Sky Blue?

The sky is blue because of the way sunlight interacts with our atmosphere. A rainbow over my house in suburban Melbourne, Duane Hamacher These colours make up just a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes ultraviolet waves, microwaves, and radio waves. The spectrum of light, showing the wavelength with objects of comparable size.

NASA Light moves as waves of different lengths: some are short, making bluer light, and some are long, making redder light. The spectrum of light we can see. Each colour from red to blue looks has a shorter distance between the waves. Red sunlight illuminating the clouds at sunset outside Melbourne during the winter solstice.

The Conversation

Duane Hamacher Rayleigh scattering can affect how we see the Moon. When light comes from the sun, all these light waves of different wavelengths travel through empty space. Because of the extremely small size of visible light waves less than one millionth of a meter , these light waves also interact the tiny gas molecules that make up the air itself.


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The light waves bounce off these particles just like you might bounce and get jostled in a busy hallway. As the light waves bounce in lots of different directions, we say they have been scattered. How light waves get scattered depends strongly on the size of the particle compared with the wavelength of the light.

Particles that are small compared with the light wavelength scatter blue light more strongly than red light. Within the visible range of light, red light waves are scattered the least by atmospheric gas molecules.

Why Is the Ocean Blue?

So at sunrise and sunset, when the sunlight travels a long path through the atmosphere to reach our eyes, the blue light has been mostly removed, leaving mostly red and yellow light remaining. The result is that the sunlight takes on an orange or red cast, which we can see reflected from clouds or other objects as a colorful sunset or sunrise.

Why is the sky blue? A simple explanation on how we see light | The Independent

Large particles of pollution or dust scatter light in a way that changes much less for different colors. But why are there different colors? The light you see is just one tiny bit of all the kinds of light energy beaming around the Universe - and around you! Like energy passing through the ocean, light energy travels in waves, too. What makes one kind of light different from others is its wavelength - or range of wavelengths. Visible light includes the wavelengths our eyes can see. The longest wavelengths we can see look red to us. The shortest wavelengths we can see look blue or violet.

The wavelengths in this picture are not to scale. A red light wave is about nanometers, while a blue or violet wave is about nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. A human hair is about 50, nanometers thick! So these visible light wavelengths are very, very tiny.

Another important thing to know about light is that it travels in a straight line unless something gets in the way to.