Why the Sky Changes Colors

Ever wonder why the sky is certain colors? Or even multiple colors at once? Well here’s where you’ll find your answer!

The colors of the sky are created because of different particles and chemicals between the sun and earth in the atmosphere.  The sky surrounding the earth mainly consits of nitrogen and oxygen molecules, as well as dust and debris kicked up and around by humans and animals on the earths surface.  When light hits all these particles, it breaks up and all the different wavelenghts are scattered in different directions. The process of this is simply called scattering. Without our atmosphere, the earth would be black and only be lit up by the white light of the sun.  However, we have an atmosphere that provides us with many different colors.

During day, the sky has no colors, just plain blue unless clouds block it.  Why is the sky only blue though? To answer this is that the wavelength of blue light is small and can be broken up more than orange or another color.  Because of this, blue is scattered in more directions.  Therefore, it is the blue light that hits our eye, not any other color.

At dusk and dawn, however the colors of the sky are different.  The cause of this is that during these times, the sun is at a different angle to earth that normal. Because of this angle, the longer wavelengths hit the eye, not the shorter ones as in the daytime.

Now, are the sunser and sunrise the same?  Actually they differ from each other.  The sunset tends to usually be brighter and contain more colors that sunrise.  This happens because anmals and humans kick up dust and debris that reflect the light. This reflection makes the sunset brighter than the sunrise.

Finally, beleive it or not, the sunset and sunrise in a big city will be much brighter than in a small city or country area.  The reason for this is simply because of more polution and gas particules and molecules getting kicked up and around everywhere.  Even though this may sound weird, most of the best sunsets are great due to pollution.

Most people, including myself never really notice what happens in the sky. Even if they wonder why the sky is hat color at that certain time, it might not just be that important to them.  So next time you can, take a look at the sky, take note of what is happening.

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One Response to “Why the Sky Changes Colors”
  1. jack peterson Says...

    On October 15, 2010 at 5:08 am

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