The question of why the sky is blue is one that’s asked often by both kids and adults. To fully understand the answer it’s important to have some knowledge about the Sun.
Blue Dust Particles
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The Sun scatters dust particles around the atmosphere. These dust particles consist of different colors including yellow, red, and blue among others. Each of these colors has different wavelengths.
Colors like yellow and orange have longer wavelengths. It allows them to go by much more quickly. Blue has the shortest, so it tends to scatter around a lot more. This is the reason why on a sunny day the atmosphere has that hue all around, and that is why the sky is blue.
How Sunsets and Sunrises Happen
As the day goes by, the blue wavelengths begin to dissipate. When they do the red, yellow, and orange wavelengths appear. Along with them are pink, violet and other colors. When the blue color disappears, the others ones become visible. These are what we see during the sunset. The same thing happens just before the sun rises up in the morning.
Because the Sun has not fully risen, there are less dust and vapors around. That is the reason why colors in the morning appear softer. By contrast, sunsets are noted for their vividness. This is due to the various dust particles around. When studying the reason why the sky is blue, it’s also crucial that you learn about the role of the Sun.
Effects of Clouds
It is also worth noting that clouds also play a part in determining the colors and hues. Clouds are made of water and ice. Both of them are capable of displaying prisms of colors. When the sun hits them, various lights and shades appear. That is why some clouds appear yellowish, orange, or in other shades.
Of course, the abovementioned scenarios happen only when the sky is clear. During thunderstorms, grey clouds cover the skies. When there’s the possibility of rain, the dust particles are covered.
Also, the large clouds tend to cover most of the sky. When there is rain, the colors won’t be seen. As you go over the reasons why the sky is blue, the effect of thunderstorms cannot be discounted either.
After the rain, however, the sky clears up very quickly. Another effect of rain is the rainbow. This is caused by the Sun’s rays being refracted by raindrops in the atmosphere. The skies are also very clear in the mornings in winter. If you go to a mountaintop, the atmosphere is also very visible.
The Early Researchers
It was John Tyndall who discovered in 1859 that blue wavelengths are the ones that get scattered the most. He simply used light to focus on soap bubbles in the water. Other researchers who studied the matter included Isaac Newton, Lord Rayleigh, and Leonardo Da Vinci.
It is only natural for people to wonder about the skies around us. To this day people still wonder why the sky is blue and ask the question. Now you know the answer.