Why the sky is blue: how to explain it to children

(ORDO NEWS) — This question, which is often asked by children, can confuse adults, because they themselves do not always know the correct answer to it.

he blueness of the sky is sometimes amazing. But the simple question of why it has such a color, many cannot answer.

If you want to know why the sky is blue, you must first ask yourself what is the actual color of the Sun and its light.

You may have noticed that sometimes the Sun looks red or orange, but we often perceive it as yellow because that is how the sun is depicted in cartoons and art.

However, sunlight, in fact, contains all the colors mixed into one – white. This is easy to see in pictures taken from space.

The light emitted by the sun also appears white and consists of all the colors of the rainbow. This means that if you split the sunlight, say by passing it through a prism, you would see a rainbow of colors coming out of it.

A prism separates light into its component waves, from the shortest to the longest. Waves of blue light are shorter than those of red.

Why is the sky blue and not white

Normally, white light from the sun, containing all colors, travels in a straight line. But when something gets in its way, one of these 3 things can happen:

1- It can be reflected, which happens when it hits the mirrors.

2- It can be refracted, which happens when it hits a prism.

3- It can scatter: that’s what happens in the atmosphere, and that’s why sunlight looks different here on the surface of the Earth.

This scattering can act as a “filter” of sorts, and the Earth’s atmosphere tends to scatter blue and violet colors more than other colors because, as we mentioned earlier, these colors are made up of shorter wavelengths.

The atmosphere scatters shorter wavelengths more strongly. This, and the fact that the Sun emits a higher concentration of blue light waves than violet, makes the sky blue for us humans, whose eyes are more sensitive to blue than violet.

But that is not all. Closer to the horizon, the sky becomes more light blue or white. This is because the sunlight that reaches our eyes from the bottom of the sky passes through an even larger volume of air than the sunlight that hits us from above.

As a result, blue light waves scatter many times in many directions. Not only does the Earth’s surface also reflect and scatter light, all of this scattering is mixing the colors together again so that we see more white and less blue.

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