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Why is the sky blue, sunsets red, and clouds white?


The sky is indeed colorful, thanks to the sun. Its brilliant white light has all the rainbow colors embedded within: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet (ROY G. BIV).


When the conditions are right, either with a rainbow or a sunset, the component colors become visible.


The sky is blue because of the “scattering” of sunlight. The color blue has a shorter wavelength and greater energy than the other colors. As a result, blue is selectively absorbed by air molecules, then given off again in all directions. The other colors are less scattered, and therefore not usually seen.


The noon sun itself has a yellow appearance, having had its blue color subtracted out.


At sunrise or sunset, the sunlight comes in at a low angle and must pass through a greater thickness of atmosphere. As a result, the blue color is thoroughly scattered so that much of it is totally absorbed by air and lost. This leaves the other colors to be scattered, especially orange and red, making a glorious horizon of colors.


These colors are further enhanced if there are dust particles in the air. The Creator's artistry far surprasses manmade displays.


The colors of sunlight are also responsible for all the hues we enjoy on Earth, whether green grass or a goldfinch. The surface of each object selects the particular colors that it will reflect to distinguish itself.


At night, the creation assumes various shades of gray.


Clouds are often a brilliant white because they are excellent reflectors or scatterers of every color. All the returned colors together then add up to the neutral white. Certain common materials also reflect all the colors uniformly, such as milk, chalk, and sugar.

Learn more about weather…

Text author: Dr. Donald B. DeYoung of Creation Research Society (ChristianAnswers.Net team member). First published in Weather and the Bible (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company, 1992). Used by permission. Text copyright © 1992, 2004, Donald B. DeYoung.

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