Why Is the Sky Blue?

Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue? The sunlit sky is blue because air scatters short-wavelength light more than longer wavelengths. Since blue light is at the short-wavelength end of the visible spectrum, it is more strongly scattered in the atmosphere than long-wavelength red light. The result is that when looking toward parts of the sky other than the sun, the human eye perceives them to be blue.[3] The color perceived is similar to that obtained by a monochromatic blue of a wavelength of 474–476 nm mixed with white light, i.e., an unsaturated blue light.[4] The explanation of the blue color by Rayleigh in 1871 is one of the most famous examples of the application of dimensional analysis in solving a problem in physics.[5]

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