|But Really- Why is the Sky Blue?|
|Written by Heather Parises|
|Monday, 16 July 2012 19:00|
Written by Heather Parises
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Why is the sky blue? Although a really simple question, most people cannot give a full explanation. Most people have been taught from a young age that the reflection from the ocean is what gives our gorgeous sky its blue hue.
All age groups should understand our world in order to appreciate its beauty. The reason the sky is blue is based off two very important factors. The behavior of light and scattering of the particles in the atmosphere is what gives our sky its blue appearance.
The sun gives us “white light”; when that light passes through a prism we can see all the colors of the rainbow. When humans see all the colors of the rainbow they are looking at the visible light section of the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum is a way that scientists organize the types of electromagnetic energy that exist.
Different colors of the visible light spectrum have different wavelengths. Blue is has a shorter wavelength than the color red. The red wavelength travels the furthest.Light travels in a straight line unless something gets in the way to reflect it, bend it or scatter it.
Factors in our atmosphere can change the way light travels.Light is a form of radiation, we have learned that this means it is in the visible light section of our electromagnetic spectrum.
We need to further examine the behavior of light to understand how it scatters in our atmosphere.
As light hits elements in the atmosphere, the energy is emitted into dissimilar directions, this is called scattering. Rayleigh scattering and Mie scattering are two types of scattering that occur in our atmosphere.
The sky’s blue appearance is from the behavior of light and the scattering of particles in the atmosphere.Why is the sky blue? When a student or someone you know asks you this question, you can now tell them the true answer and not that it’s from the reflection from the ocean. The knowledge you attained can benefit your science knowledge and also in daily life.
About the Author:
Heather Parises is a senior at Central Michigan University with a strong background in meteorology.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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