Why is the sky blue?- Facts about Sky & what does sky look like from space | Tyndall effect

Sky has always fascinated people. Many religious people believe that heaven is in the sky. But another aspect of the sky that has puzzled people is why the sky appears blue. People often ask, "Why is the sky blue?"

Why is the sky blue?

So do you also want to know why the sky appears blue? In fact this is one of the most frequently searched questions on Google. In this article we will tell you why the sky is blue?

Why is the sky blue?

When sunlight reaches the Earth's atmosphere, it is scattered by small gas particles (mostly nitrogen and oxygen) in the air. Since these particles are much smaller than the wavelength of visible light, the amount of scattering depends on the wavelength. This process is called Rayleigh scattering. It was named after Lord Rayleigh.

Shorter wavelengths (violet and blue) are scattered the most intensely, so blue is scattered more towards our eyes than other co-lours.

The blue light that gives the sky its color is so bright that all the stars we see at night disappear because the light they give off is so dim.

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In simple words, very small particles of dust and soil are present in the atmosphere and when sunlight falls on these particles, they get scattered into seven colors. These seven colors include Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. Blue and indigo have the shortest wavelength when the sun's rays are scattered. Red color has the longest wavelength. Due to which the blue and indigo colored rays are scattered more in the sky, hence the sky appears blue.

The wavelength of red light is 620–750 NM while that of blue light is 450–495 NM. Due to this blue light is scattered by colliding with the gas, pollen grains, dust etc. present in the atmosphere and due to which it remains present in the air for a long time. Due to this scattered light, we see the sky blue.

Who discovered the color of the sky?

John Tyndall was a prominent British physicist of the 19th century. He was the first scientist to explain the color of the sky. He named his research as Rayleigh scattering. This discovery was one of his most important discoveries. Once he used two test tubes and held them in such a way that the rays of the sun kept passing from one to the other.

In this way he saw that the tube appeared blue from one end, while red was visible from the other side. From this discovery he came to know about the blue color of the sky. Due to scattering, we can see the ocean as blue, sunset in many colors, rainbow etc.

Tyndall effect

During his research he constructed a glass tube that simulated the atmosphere, with a source of white light at one end that acted as the Sun. As he poured smoke into the tube, the ray of light appeared blue from one side but red from the other end.

This incident told them that the dust and vapor particles in the atmosphere scattered the blue light coming into our eyes. Today we know that blue is more scattered because of its shorter wavelength, while red is more penetrating because it is the longest wave of visible light.

As light passes through the air, the Sun is lower on the horizon at sunrise and sunset. The blue light is absorbed before it reaches our line of sight and we see a scattering of red.

The Tyndall effect explains this phenomenon of dispersion in micro-particle liquids, but what we see in the sky is actually so-called Rayleigh scattering caused by the air molecules themselves, which are much smaller than the wavelength of light.

What does the sky look like from space?

According to science, the sky has no color. The sky is colorless. When astronauts go to space, they see everything black just because of the absence of atmosphere. The color of the sky appears to be blue due to the environment around us. The whole world looks beautiful because of our environment. The atmosphere plays a very important role on our planet.

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Why does the sky look orange at sunrise and sunset?

You must have often observed that the color of the sky appears to be orange or red during dawn and dusk. Let us tell you that the reason for this is also the rays of light. According to science, the sun is very close to the earth during dawn and dusk. During this, the temperature of the sun is low and the blue and green rays are reflected more than the red and orange colors. Due to which the color of the sky appears red or orange.

Sky appear blue on other planets as well?

It all depends on what is the climate like there? Mars, for example, has a very thin atmosphere composed mostly of carbon dioxide and fine particles of dust. These fine particles scatter light differently than gases and particles in Earth's atmosphere.

Images from NASA's rovers and landers have shown us that Mars is opposite Earth at sunset. The sky of Mars turns orange or red during the day. But as soon as the sun sets, the sky around the sun turns blue-gray.


It is our nature which has gifted us so many beautiful colors and due to which the sky looks blue and the atmosphere looks green. All these things look like miracles but they are part of science. Nowadays we cannot see the true beauty of color in our environment due to pollution. It is our duty to protect our nature and the earth.

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