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B Black clouds and light

  1. Jul 6, 2017 #1
    During a rainy day the clouds appear black but not so normally (in good climatic conditions)
    I think its something to do with light so I posted this query .
    If its not, sorry.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 6, 2017 #2


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    No need to say sorry for a good question !
    I'm not an expert, but I think that indeed the lack of light makes clouds look grey or even black.
    Clouds are very fine sprays of minute water droplets that scatter light like crazy. With enough light they scatter a lot of light back to observers.
  4. Jul 6, 2017 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    All clouds are white(again, black is not a color), but thicker clouds absorb more light, making them darker.
  5. Jul 6, 2017 #4
    Isn't it that thicker clouds scatter more light?
  6. Jul 6, 2017 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    It's probably some of both. Looking down at clouds from above, they are bright white from scatter/reflection. Looking up from below, the light you see must have been transmitted through.
  7. Jul 6, 2017 #6
    Water doesn't absorb much light. But scattering increases with cloud density and thickness, reducing the amount of light that makes it through.
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