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 the human eye perceives blue when looking toward parts of the sky other than the sun. The color perceived is similar to that obtained by a monochromatic blue of wavelength 474–476 nm mixed with white light, i.e., an unsaturated blue light.
Near sunrise and sunset, most of the light we see comes in nearly tangent to the Earth's surface, so that the light's path through the atmosphere is so long that much of the blue and even green light is scattered out, leaving the sun rays and the clouds it illuminates red. Therefore, when looking at the sunset and sunrise, you will see the color red more than any of the other colors.
Scattering and absorption are major causes of the attenuation of radiation by the atmosphere. Scattering varies as a function of the ratio of the particle diameter to the wavelength of the radiation. When this ratio is less than about one-tenth, Rayleigh scattering occurs in which the scattering coefficient varies inversely as the fourth power of the wavelength. At larger values of the ratio of particle diameter to wavelength, the scattering varies in a complex fashion described, for spherical particles, by the Mie theory; at a ratio of the order of 10, the laws of geometric optics begin to apply.
Read more about this topic: Diffuse Sky Radiation
Other articles related to "color":
... or saturation how "intense" or "concentrated" a color is ... These terms, and others related to light and color are internationally agreed upon and published in the CIE Lighting Vocabulary ... Hue the color's direction from white, for example in a color wheel or chromaticity diagram ...
... It is the color of the interior of the central cylindrical tubular projection of the jonquil flower ... The color takes its name from a species of plant, Narcissus jonquilla, which has clusters of small fragrant yellow flowers, and is native to the Mediterranean ... The first known recorded use of jonquil as a color name in English was in 1789 ...
Famous quotes containing the word color:
“Since the quarrel
Will bear no color for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)
“For the profit of travel: in the first place, you get rid of a few prejudices.... The prejudiced against color finds several hundred millions of people of all shades of color, and all degrees of intellect, rank, and social worth, generals, judges, priests, and kings, and learns to give up his foolish prejudice.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“... it is not the color of the skin that makes the man or the woman, but the principle formed in the soul. Brilliant wit will shine, come from whence it will; and genius and talent will not hide the brightness of its lustre.”
—Maria Stewart (18031879)