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December 10, 2012

#1145: Sky Color

Sky Color

[[A woman with a ponytail leans back on her office chair, back to her computer, gesturing as she speaks to a little girl in front of her.]]

Girl: Mommy, why is the sky blue?

Mother: Rayleigh scattering! Short wavelengths get scattered


more (proportional to 1

lambda^4). Blue light dominates because it’s so short.

Girl: Oh. So why


the sky violet?

Mother: Well, because, uh… …hmm.