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Every Parent Is Asked This Question: Why Is The Sky Blue?

2:09 PM, Jul 5, 2013   |    comments
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Kernersville, NC -- We've had so much rain lately, Brayden's question is well timed. "Why is the sky blue?"

Roger Joyner, the Omnisphere Curator at the Greensboro Science Center says, "The sky is blue because of particles in our atmosphere. They scatter the blue light."

For example, let's just assume there is a particle in the atmosphere, now light is a wave, it travels through space, sort of like an ocean wave. And there are different wavelengths.

"The blue light, is a very short wavelength. So as its traveling through our atmosphere, when it meets up with a particle, and they are about the same size, so it gets refracted or scattered."

Roger also explained why the sun looks red as it is setting. A red wavelength is bigger.

"So as it travels through our atmosphere, it really doesn't pay any attention to this particle. It just keeps right on going. So the blue light tends to get scattered, all of the other colors tend to come straight through to your eye."

This is also the same reason the sun appears red as its setting, it goes through more of the atmosphere, so more of the blue light is scattered, and so really all you see is the red light that's left over, that makes it through the atmosphere.

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