Atmospheric Scattering Problem

In summary, the conversation discusses a scenario where the Earth's atmosphere scatters green light instead of blue, resulting in a green sky and a different appearance of the sun. The color of the sun is determined by the scattering of different frequencies of light, with yellow and red being dominant due to their ability to penetrate the atmosphere. If green light were to be scattered, the sun would appear magenta and the sky would be a mix of blue and red. The speaker is considering whether the sun would appear yellow or magenta in this scenario.
  • #1
jcdenton89
3
0
Hello,

So I have a scenario where the Earth's atmosphere, instead of scattering blue light from the sun, actually scatters green light based on Rayleigh scattering.

I know that the sky will therefore appear green, but how will the sun appear?

I reasoned the sun will be magenta using the normal situation on Earth.

The sun appears yellow/red (toward sunsets) even though its true color is closer to white because the sun's high frequency light (violet/blue) is scattered in the atmosphere by oxygen and nitrogen molecules. Yellows and reds are low frequency, long wavelength, and are able to penetrate the atmosphere without scattering. During sunsets, the angle of sunlight is very shallow and must go through more atmosphere and undergo more scattering. Much less blue light is transmitted and the low end of the color spectrum is dominant.

If in a similar situation, green light were to be scattered, then wouldn't green light be much less dominant in the color spectrum? So by removing Green from the additive primary colors, we lose yellow (normal perceived sun color) and cyan as well. The blue and red frequency light will be able to penetrate the atmosphere, mix, and result in magenta with a scattered green sky as the background.

What do you think? I was toying between a yellow or magenta sun...but i think magenta seems a good option.
 
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  • #3


I would first like to commend you for your thoughtful and creative thinking on this topic. Atmospheric scattering is a complex phenomenon and your reasoning is well thought out.

Based on your explanation, it does seem plausible that in a scenario where the Earth's atmosphere scatters green light instead of blue, the sun would appear magenta. This is because, as you mentioned, green light is a lower frequency and would be less dominant in the color spectrum. This would result in a combination of red and blue light, which would appear as magenta.

However, it is important to note that there are many factors that can affect the appearance of the sun, such as the composition of the atmosphere and the angle and intensity of sunlight. Additionally, the perception of color is also influenced by individual differences in color perception. So while magenta may seem like a logical conclusion based on your reasoning, it is also possible that the sun may appear differently to different individuals in this scenario.

In conclusion, your reasoning for a magenta sun in a scenario of green atmospheric scattering is sound, but it is also important to consider other factors and individual differences that may affect the appearance of the sun. Further research and experimentation would be needed to fully understand and predict the appearance of the sun in such a scenario.
 

1. What is atmospheric scattering?

Atmospheric scattering is the process by which particles and molecules in the Earth's atmosphere interact with and scatter sunlight, causing changes in the color and brightness of light in the sky.

2. What causes atmospheric scattering?

Atmospheric scattering is caused by the interaction of sunlight with particles and molecules in the Earth's atmosphere. These particles and molecules can include dust, water droplets, and nitrogen and oxygen molecules.

3. How does atmospheric scattering affect the color of the sky?

Atmospheric scattering causes blue light to be scattered more than other colors, which is why the sky appears blue to our eyes. This is known as Rayleigh scattering.

4. What are the effects of atmospheric scattering on climate?

Atmospheric scattering plays a crucial role in regulating the Earth's climate. It reflects some sunlight back into space, which helps to cool the planet, but it also traps heat, contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming.

5. How is atmospheric scattering studied?

Scientists study atmospheric scattering through a variety of methods, including satellite and ground-based measurements, computer simulations, and laboratory experiments. These studies help us understand the complex interactions between sunlight, particles, and molecules in the Earth's atmosphere.

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