Why is the sun red at sunrise and sunset?

Sunset on the Malaysian island of Borneo. Angela7dreams photo. CC-BY.The sun appears red when it is close to the horizon for much the same reason that it appears yellow in midday (or, for that matter, why the sky is blue). In outer space, the sun looks white, meaning that our closest star is radiating all colors of light. During the daytime on Earth, the [more…]

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Why is the sky blue?

Clouds and corn (photo by Kables - CC-BY)The sky appears blue to us because we are seeing part of the sunlight that has been scattered towards our eyes, and blue light is most readily scattered by the earth’s atmosphere. The sun emits light of all frequencies (colors). Were it not for the scattering of the atmosphere, we would see the sun as [more…]

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