My life improved dramatically when I finally understood why the sky is blue, like really why.
Basically, it's because of Rayleigh Scattering (and Mie Scattering)
"What the hell is Rayleigh Scattering? What does that mean? That doesn't mean anything?" one might reasonably ask.
Well, basically, blue and violet light are scattered much more randomly than the longer, redder wavelengths. This results in the longer wavelengths making it to your eyes directly, whereas the blue and violet (though the sun doesn't emit much violet compared to blue) may take a more complicated path, and end up reaching your eyes appearing to have come from some random point in the sky.
This is why the sun appears yellow during the day, or even orange or red at sunrise and sunset, because even more blue light gets filtered out by randomly bouncing down to the surface or back off into space when it has to move through a bigger mass of air to reach you. However, from space, the sun is just plainly white.
All the wavelengths are still coming in, and white light is still the vast majority of that light. However, when in the particular case that it gets scattered off an air particle and reaches your eyes, you see it as blue.
Frankly, the air scatters violet light more this way than it does blue, however the sky doesn't appear violet merely because the sun itself isn't putting out as much violet light than it is blue light, so we see blue.
Well, you might then also still wonder, "if all the objects are getting a little more blue coming in from every angle, shouldn't everything be a bit more... blue? Shouldn't it accumulate, even if the effect is small?" And you'd be right to ask this if you didn't account for all of the blue light that gets bounced right back into space.
This is why you can well, see the atmosphere from space. All of that blue light is just wandering back off into space from the atmosphere, and that effect sort of nullifies the previous conjecture.
Finally, the last cool tidbit of fun info for you about Rayleigh Scattering is that on Mars, there's so little air that a small halo around the sun at sunrise and sunset actually becomes blue for the same reason as why OUR sky is blue, but it can only happen on Mars at those times because Mars' atmosphere is so thin and pathetic.
It can sometimes seem like we take some facts for granted, and some things are true for a very sort of complicated set of reasons, but it's not magic, it's actually rather mundane, and it's fun to ask questions. Really dumb questions, really obvious ones. If we don't we just get old and afraid to ask.
Sometimes it really just feels great to KNOW why the sky really is blue, to genuinely really understand why that's the case is a rewarding thing by itself.
@starwall its a reflection of the ocean.
@starwall air is blue
Why is it blue
Maybe it just needs a friend
I’ve seen pictures of it from space before but somehow it never registered that it was a different color...
It’s those cheap phone cameras they use in space, of course
:3< @starwall hey mars is trying its best
@starwall this is rad, thanks yo! I thought this was something I 'totally vaguely understood' but like - there are whole layers I didn't know about and it makes sunsets especially like ~10% cooler now.
@starwall should we point and laugh at mars’ weak and ineffectual atmosphere?
@starwall Reading this thread like "Dum da da dum da dum da"
@starwall this is cool as heck
@starwall I love science.
@starwall In other words, the higher energy blue & violet rays are like a kid who was just fed candy. XD
@KitsuneAlicia also sugar rushes are myths but we'll debunk that another day
@starwall I look forward to the thread so that I can finally tell off people who criticize me for eating too much sweets. XD
@KitsuneAlicia sugar crashes are still very real though, even though sugar rushes are basically a placebo.
Exasperated profanity reaction
@starwall hang on the sun is fucking white?
I'm 36 years old and today I learned that the sun is fucking white?!
A cool and chill place for cool and chill people.