Blue sky

What makes the sky blue?

The Earth’s atmosphere is full of gases and particles that scatter sunlight in all directions.

Blue light is scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. Because of this, most of the time, we see a blue sky.

blue sky

If you’ve ever wondered why the sky is blue, you’re not alone. “Why is the sky red?” might have been a common question if you saw a stunning sunset or sunrise.

red sunrise

You might think that the reasons why the sky is blue are as obvious as the color itself. That is not the case! Why blue, of all the colors in the rainbow?

Rainbow Speak

Isn’t it possible that the sky could be green? Is it yellow? Rainbows can also include various shades of blue and violet as well as orange, yellow, red, and everything in between.

The Sun’s white light contains all the colors of the rainbow. When we look at a rainbow, we see all of those colors. A sunlit raindrop acts as a small prism, bending and separating light into its various colors.

Why are there so many colors?

The light you see is just one tiny bit of all the kinds of light energy beaming around the Universe – and around you! Light energy travels in waves, just like ocean currents. The

wavelength, or range of wavelengths, is what distinguishes one type of light from another. The wavelengths that are visible to our eyes are included in the category of visible light. We see red in the farthest reaches of our visual spectrum.  The shortest wavelengths we can see appears blue or violet to us.

This image does not represent actual wavelengths. While the wavelength of a blue or violet light is 400 nanometers and that of a red light wave is 750 nanometers, A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. These visible light wavelengths, on the other hand, are incredibly small in comparison.

Unless something interferes with its path, light always travels in a straight line.

• show it off (like a mirror)

• It’s bent (like a prism)

• or scatter it (like molecules of the gases in the atmosphere)

Our eyes receive a large portion of the reddish-yellowish-green light wavelengths that are mixed together and nearly white as they enter Earth’s atmosphere as they shine down on us from above.

It is precisely the right size of blue and violet waves to hit and bounce off the molecules of gas that are present in the atmosphere.

abstract colored light wave

Blue and violet waves become dispersed in all directions as a result, making them visible to the naked eye. The rest of the spectrum tends to blend into one another, so it stays white.

What happens to all the wavelengths that aren’t blue?

They appear white because they haven’t been dispersed by the atmosphere. The sky appears blue because of the abundance of scattered violet and blue light.

How does the violet end up?

The upper atmosphere absorbs some of the violet light. Our eyes, on the other hand, aren’t as sensitive to violet as blue.

The sky turns a paler shade of blue or even white as it approaches the horizon. Even more air has been sucked into the light coming from the horizon than has been sucked into the light coming from above. Because the gas molecules have rescattered the blue light so many times, we are receiving less of it.

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