Why is the sky blue?

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(WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — It’s a simple question but one that stumps a lot of people. Why is the sky blue? Well, it all starts with sunlight. To us, sunlight looks white but it is actually a combination of all of the colors in the rainbow!

These colors fall on the wavelength spectrum and each color has a different wavelength. Colors like blue and violet have shorter wavelengths though colors like red and orange have longer wavelengths. When sunlight moves through our atmosphere, the colors with shorter wavelengths get scattered around while the colors with longer wavelengths can go further and reach the surface.

If blue and violet are scattered all around, why is it that we only see the blue? Well, the human eye is actually more sensitive to blue light than violet. If human eyes weren’t more sensitive to blue light than to violet, the clear daytime sky would appear violet instead of blue!

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