Thursday, May 13, 2010
Why is the Sky Blue?
For the first two billion years of Earth's history or so, the sky was probably orange. We're not sure whether that's really true -- no one's been able to hop in a time machine and go back and check -- but based what we know about the chemistry of that time period, there's a good chance the atmosphere's primary component was methane (CH4), which would've cast a strange pall over our young planet.
These days, the atmosphere is mostly nitrogen and oxygen. Sunlight is made up of all the colors of the rainbow (as well as many wavelengths we can't see); as it jostles through air molecules, blue light is most efficiently reflected, so our eyes end up experiencing a beautiful azure shade.
Discovery News / Earth News/by Michael Reilly /continue reading