Why is the sky blue? Test your science IQ!

Blue sky.: Image courtesy robpatrick.

One of the random questions we often get at the Science Buzz is “why is the sky blue?”. A recent article published by the Columbia News Service addresses this question, along with nine others, in an article called How High is Your Science IQ? The article is a list of ten science facts every high school graduate should know. To get to the 10 facts the Columbia News Service asked Nobel Prize winners, institute heads, and teachers, “What is one science question every high school graduate should be able to answer?” The questions are good ones – how many can you get right? Check out the article and test yourself!

Oh, and if you want even more information on why the sky is blue, here is a good Wikipedia article on the subject.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Becuase all of the colors from the earth make it that color.

posted on Fri, 04/21/2006 - 11:17am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

After taking the test, I wanted to add some information to the answer for question #5. Unlike years and days, which are scientific measurements based on the movement and position of the Earth, hours are more like cultural measurements. Hours reflect the way that society chooses to subdivide each day rather than a scientific/natural event that occurs 24 times each day.

posted on Sat, 04/22/2006 - 6:20pm
stewie's picture
stewie says:

because the sun reflects on the particles in the atmosphere making it blue

posted on Thu, 10/19/2006 - 11:27am
Usama's picture
Usama says:

The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. As 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.

posted on Tue, 12/26/2006 - 9:06am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The true reason is that God, in all his mighty, has given us the ability to see colors, and because of that he has given the sky a majestic color, which is blue.

posted on Tue, 12/26/2006 - 3:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that God was trying to make the sky green, but he spilled the paint.

posted on Tue, 12/26/2006 - 5:51pm
Jason's picture
Jason says:

Even though God did make the sky blue, Do you think that he just said that the sky will be blue? No my therory is that he created the Nitrogen atoms and Oxygen atoms, and other elements, with those elements in the air, and so many is about, the sky is blue. You can not forget that God knows all, it's the reason why I think that he created a system, so he don't have to be on constant work to make sure the earth is doing it's job. Example is, with out the magnetic field the sun would have destroyed the earth, like it did on Mars, they say that Mars was once like earth, but the core in the center of Mars stoped, therefore caused the solar flares to destroy the Mars atmosphere. Well thats my therory, but what do I know I am foolish kid.

posted on Sun, 02/11/2007 - 2:20pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

It's science vs religion. Religion says everything in existence is god's creation while science says god is the creation of our imagination.I will go with science and say it was the scattering os sun's rays in the atmosphere.

posted on Tue, 03/08/2011 - 8:28am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i dont think that that is possible

posted on Tue, 12/26/2006 - 7:08pm
Steven's picture
Steven says:

because the sun reflects the color of the water back in to the sky

posted on Wed, 03/28/2007 - 9:24am
Josie's picture
Josie says:

I think the sky is blue because molecules in the air scatter blue light from the sun more than they scatter red light.

posted on Sat, 10/27/2007 - 5:59am
Joe's picture
Joe says:

From the Wikipedia article I referenced above:

The sky appears blue because air scatters short-wavelength light more than longer wavelengths. When we look toward a part of the sky not near the sun, the blue color we see is blue light waves scattered down toward us from the white sunlight passing through the air overhead. 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 yellow light is scattered out, leaving the sun rays and the clouds it illuminates red.

posted on Sat, 10/27/2007 - 1:04pm
Britt's picture
Britt says:

God liked Penn State.

Or its because of the particles in the atmostphere and how light reflects off of them. Not the ocean, or any other stuff. A blue sky reflects the color blue back to our eyes.

posted on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 3:33pm
Gakki's picture
Gakki says:

i think that the sky is blue because molecules from the air scatter blue light from the sun.
The light reflects the colour of the sea causing the sky to look blue. :D

posted on Sat, 03/14/2009 - 3:14pm
jaimin's picture
jaimin says:

because of a process called scaterring in which the sun rays are refracted through air particles. but blue colour deviates the maximum. so sky appears blue.

posted on Fri, 04/23/2010 - 7:04am
gelai03's picture
gelai03 says:

the sky is not really blue.its color violet.Violet has the longest wavelength among the 8 colors but our eyes is sensitive to this color that's why we see the sky blue which has the 2nd longest wavelength.

posted on Sun, 01/16/2011 - 10:02pm
 earl john russell p. lim's picture
earl john russell p. lim says:

because the light from the sun makes color and most of them is blue

posted on Wed, 02/09/2011 - 8:03am

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