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B Rayleigh scattering

  1. Jul 22, 2017 #1
    Rayleigh scattering is what caused the sky to be blue.. what elements must be replaced to make the sky orange, or yellow or other colors? Is there a list of elements somewhere for the different colors?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2017 #2


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    If you look at this link and follow through to later pages, you will see that the scattering is highly wavelength dependent. There is a sharp slope to the Rayleigh curve that promotes blue over red for all sorts of particles. Whatever the absolute level of scattering, you will still get a blue bias. (Remember, the optical range is only about an octave)
    If you look at Mie scattering (for larger scattering particles) there is less wavelength dependence (as the link points out, the scattered light around the overhead Sun is not coloured.
    The redness of the sun at sunset is due to the long path length of the light through the atmosphere (grazing) which has subtracted the blue wavelengths.
    I guess you could expect the sunset sky to look more red if there were a much more dense atmosphere.
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