Rayleigh scattering is responsible for the sky’s blue color. This is the scattering electromagnetic energy by particles having a shorter wavelength.
The blue light spreads above all other colors, which makes it visible. This makes the sky appear more blue for the human eye.
To understand the reason why the sky blue, we must first comprehend light. Sunlight looks to be white, but it is actually made up of a rainbow’s worth of colors.
A wave of energy is light, which can be described as light. There are many wavelengths to different colors. The longest wavelength is red light. Blue and violet have shorter wavelengths.
How does the sky turn blue?
The small molecules of gas (mainly nitrogen and oxygen) in the air disperse or deflect the Sun’s radiation as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
Because these molecules are much smaller than visible light wavelengths they scatter less. Rayleigh scattering, named after Lord Rayleigh who discovered it first, is what this phenomenon is called.
Because shorter wavelengths (violet, blue), scatter light more strongly than other colors. Therefore, blue light is more reflected toward the eyes.
It might seem strange that the sky doesn’t appear purple because violet light scatters more than blue. It is because sunlight contains less violet, and that our eyes react more to blue.
Because the blue light that gives the sky its color is so intense, it can make the stars visible at night disappear. Their light is much weaker.
During sunset and sunrise, the angle during which the sun’s rays reach the atmosphere varies considerably. The bluest (shortest) and greenish wavelengths of the sun are scattered well before reaching the lower atmosphere. This results in a sky that is more red and orange.
Why does Blue drift to the Horizon as it Approaches?
You’ll also observe that the sky is the brightest overhead and fades to a faint color as it approaches the horizon. Because light from the horizon must travel further through the air and scattering and rescattering causes this phenomenon.
This light is also scattered and reflected by the Earth’s surface. Due to the increase in dispersion, you will see less blue light and more white light.
What Makes Ocean Water Blue?
Because of its absorption by red light, water gives it a blue look. Part of the photons absorbed when light hits water molecules. Everything absorbs light at a distinct wavelength (the green t-shirt absorbs red) and reflects the residual colors back to the viewer (this is why the t-shirt seems green).
Because there isn’t adequate water to absorb sufficient photons in shallow bodies of water (such as a drinking glass), light penetrates fully, leaving the water colorless.
Because there are many water molecules within the path of photons at deeper depths, some light wavelengths cannot penetrate all liquids.
How does the Sunset turn red or orange?
The Sun appears to be quite low in the sky at sunrise and sunset. This means that it has traveled through an even thicker layer of atmospheric material.
Because blue light scatters less strongly than the surrounding environment, it can be scattered many times and then redirected in various directions to reach humans. It is possible to still see a lot more yellow and red light.
Around midday, light travels through less atmospheric. When the sun hits the Planet’s surface, it is dispersed in all directions, giving us blue light. Because blue is a shorter and smaller color, it’s dispersed faster than other colors. However, sunlight has to penetrate the atmosphere further at sunset.
Because the shorter wavelengths for yellow and red are more visible, the blue wavelengths scattered over long distances by sunlight cause them to be less noticeable.
What happens to the Clouds when it Rains?
The thickness or height of clouds makes them appear grey. Small amounts of water and ice make up cloud particles. They are created by the condensation of water vapour within rising air pockets. Under the right conditions, the air becomes elevated and the cloud can rise steadily.
Clouds’ minute water droplets and ice crystals are the perfect sizes to disperse all colors of light, unlike the smaller air molecules that disperse blue light most efficiently. You see light as white when all the hues are represented in it.
When clouds are thin they let a lot light pass through giving them a white appearance. Like any other light-transmitting item, the thinner it is the more light it transmits. While the bases of cloud become darker with increasing thickness, they still spread all colors. All of this appears to be grey.
Clouds’ fairly flat bottoms have always been a little grayer than their sides if you look closely. As they rise, the cloud’s bottom becomes grayer.
Why does it look like clouds always gather in clumps?
The earth’s atmosphere, particularly localized areas of it, is not thermally balanced. There are two sunspots: the surface temperature rises and falls and the sun sets.
Simply said, there isn’t enough time for the effects of such massive thermal disturbances to dissipate uniformly. All disturbances, such as ocean waves and temperature variations, add to the level of volatility visible at short distances.
As air rises, the majority of cloud formation occurs. A package of air is an amount that expands or cools with each rise. In addition, the ascending air’s humidity levels rise. The cloud is formed when water vapor condenses into small drops of water or crystals.
Saturation happens at a specific height, that differs depending on the atmosphere’s temperature and moisture composition. Because clouds don’t develop below this level of condensing, they are flat and have an unusual appearance. Some clouds’ borders are diffuser than others.
The Bottom Line
Rayleigh scattering can be a crucial factor in many colors we perceive in space. Do you wish for another color?