All objects have the ability to absorb or reflect light, but different materials will absorb different amounts of light and reflect the rest , and therefore the resulting hues will also be different. At this point, you may wonder why the sky is blue, in a more specific way or why the water in a bucket is not blue like the sea… Well, let’s see some curious facts!

Why is the sky blue?

We’ve all wondered at some point why the sky is blue, so let’s see: the light that comes from the sun is white. That white light is actually a mixture of all the colors, but because they are mixed together, we don’t see the separate colors, just the white light from the sun.

As the sunlight passes through our atmosphere , the light is scattered throughout the air and gives off particles , such as dust (which you have surely seen many times near a window), especially in the central hours of the day. The part of the sunlight that is scattered the most is the blue part (because it travels in smaller and shorter waves than the rest), which means that the blue separates from the other colors giving us that tone in the sky so beautiful and summery .

At times like dusk or dawn, the light may seem different. At such times the sun is at a very low angle, so the rays pass through even more molecules and particles than at other times of the day. This scatters the light even more, separating the red, orange, and yellow from the white light. The more particles… the more dispersion!

Other blue things: the sea

To fully understand why this happens that we see the sea blue , we must take into account that an object appears to be of a specific color because it absorbs all the colors of the visible spectrum. This means that the water reflects the blue light and absorbs all the rest. Now you can tell that some areas of the sea sometimes appear green , but that has to do with how shallow the area is. As you go deeper into the sea, especially down, you will see that most of the blue light is replaced by much darker hues, even almost black at great depth.

But this is normal, because even the sky appears to have many different shades of blue. You can understand all of this better considering that the same effect that makes the sky blue is the one that makes the sea blue . The reason that even a bucket of water or the air around us appears clear and transparent is because light can fully penetrate through these particles.

And if you want more proof of all this, collect cellophane papers of different colors and use them to look at the sky (or the sea if possible). What do you notice? Are there different colors? Does the result of your observations change at sunrise and sunset?

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