Question - Atmospheric Perspective

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello! Please excuse me if I posted this in the wrong place. I've never been too good at these forum things, but I did have a question about atmospheric perspective that I believe has more to do with physics than any other category on the forum.

While doing a personal artistic study on perspective, I came to learn that the reason objects further in space appear lighter in hue is because of the friction in the air that the light particles have to travel through. Therefore, the more air the light has to travel through, the lighter the object in the distance appears. This made me wonder, if I were to look at an object in a frictionless vacuum such as outer space, would atmospheric perspective still apply to what I'm seeing? My initial thought would be "no", but then I really wasn't sure. Being raised on Earth, it's hard to imagine looking at objects in the distance where atmospheric perspective wouldn't apply. So what do you think?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
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Welcome to PF.

That's not quite it. The atmosphere isn't completely transparent even when it looks like it over short distances. So the further away something is, the more light from it is absorbed or reflected and the more light from other directions is reflected toward you. It is exactly like looking through fog.

In space, this phenomena mostly doesn't apply, but there are times when space dust will provide a similar effect.
 
  • #3
Oh yes, that actually makes perfect sense! Seems like something that should have been obvious since the word atmosphere is a key component there haha. Oh well :) Thank you for the information!
 

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