TJ’s Daily Blog # 71- Finally Blue

The Daily Blog # 71

Finally Blue

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The cold, grey weather in Ohio can be good for making us appreciate the nice weather when it finally arrives. For that I am grateful. It really is nice to soak up the light when it makes through to us down here on the ground. When the blue skies finally arrive amidst a string of dark gray days, it’s almost feels like seeing the sky for the first time. I am always drawn to looking up at the marvelous blue-ness of the atmosphere. It is the only thing that separates us from the cold blackness of space. Why is the sky blue, anyway? I bet that most people forget the reason…

Below is an excerpt from

Why is the Sky Blue?

The blue color of the sky is due to Rayleigh scattering. As light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. Little of the red, orange and yellow light is affected by the sky

However, much of the shorter wavelength light is absorbed by the gas molecules. The absorbed blue light is then radiated in different directions. It gets scattered all around the sky. Whichever direction you look, some of this scattered blue light reaches you. Since you see the blue light from everywhere overhead, the sky looks blue.

As you look closer to the horizon, the sky appears much paler in color. To reach you, the scattered blue light must pass through more air. Some of it gets scattered away again in other directions. Less blue light reaches your eyes. The color of the sky near the horizon appears paler or white.

blue sky


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So much technology of today aims to hide any semblance of complexity from the masses. We are led to believe that everything is better when it is simplified. I do think that simple is better in most cases of design and concept, but not at the expense of keeping us all ignorant of the nature of the very thing that makes what we do possible. Technology has made it so easy to not pay attention. You still have to understand light, at least a little bit. I truly believe that simply learning a couple of things about the physics of light (and the universe, for that matter) can change your brain and allows for new thoughts and ideas to emerge. Change your perception, change your world.

For more about the science and physics of light check out this long article at and Wikipedia for this article that contains a ton of links related to photography.

Let me know in the comments if you think learning about the science of light is useless or imperative!

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TJ Hansen

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