Ask Heather - colors of the sky

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Several people had questions about the colors in the sky from blue to the reds and pinks of sunset, so Heather explains visible light.

Linda Jo Coffey asked, "Why do some clouds look red or pink?"
Also, Lynn Rucker and Rhonda Roach Stair had questions about the blue sky.

All of this comes down to the visible spectrum of light.

Visible light is the part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum that we can see. Light from the sun or a light bulb looks white, but it is actually a combination of many colors. We can see the different colors of the spectrum by splitting the light with a prism, such as a rainbow.

The colors of the spectrum, ROY G BIV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

As light moves through the atmosphere during the day, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. So we see the blue, but little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected or seen.

Sunlight travels further through atmosphere later in the day, than it would when the sun is more directly overhead. At sunset, light travels through the atmosphere so blue is scattered away and you see what's left, longer waves of red.

If you have a question about the weather, Ask Heather! You can reach here online or on her Facebook or Twitter pages.


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