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The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. blue skyAs light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the air.
However, much of the shorter wavelength light is absorbed by the gas molecules. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.
As you look closer to the horizon, the sky appears much paler in color. To reach you, the scattered blue light must pass through more air. Some of it gets scattered away again in other directions. Less blue light reaches your eyes. The color of the sky near the horizon appears paler or white.
"of the color of the clear sky," c. 1300, bleu, blwe, etc., "sky-colored," also "livid, lead-colored," from Old French blo, bleu "pale, pallid, wan, light-colored; blond; discolored; blue, blue-gray," from Frankish *blao or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *blæwaz (source also of Old English blaw, Old Saxon and Old High German blao, Danish blaa, Swedish blå, Old Frisian blau, Middle Dutch bla, Dutch blauw, German blau "blue").
The way humans perceive color is mind-numbingly complex. The latest study, for example, delves into the mechanism behind how we've come to see in the blue light spectrum, and it involved analyzing 5,040 combinations of amino acids that could have evolved from seven mutations. The overall view, however, is less daunting -- and fascinating. Here are five intriguing discoveries that color our world.
Superhuman Vision Coming to Mere Mortals
"We definitely do not see blue like other animals," Jay Neitz, a professor of vision sciences at the University of Washington, told Discovery News. "We actually use a combination of what people would call blue and green and use both of those for seeing blue." Scientifically, the wave length for peak sensitivity for the human blue cone is 415 nanometers. "If I showed it to you, you'd see it was violet or purple," Neitz said. What we call blue checks in at 480 nanometers -- that's the color used to represent blue in television screens.
originally posted by: Cancerwarrior
a reply to: CainHarmbank
I thought it was because O and Ni are the two most abundant elements in the atmosphere, and closest to blue on the color spectrum.
I could be wrong though, high school was 20+ years ago for me.
I don't know what conspiracies we can come up with the sky being blue though.
originally posted by: CainHarmbank
Seriously. Why is the sky blue?
Perhaps based on the answers to this rather child like question, we can delve into some great conspiracy theory discussion...
So let's hear from all the critical thinkers. Hope we can chat. I will be checking back periodically.