Rayleigh Scattering: Why does the sky look blue?

raleigh scattering

««« By Stan Taylor…..

When light from the sun hits the Earth’s atmosphere, the shorter wavelength blue light gets scattered in all directions at the same time. This is why the sky appears to be blue. The intensity of blueness is greater directly overhead compared with the blueness closer to the sunlight. This is caused by the so-called Rayleigh effect.  Click on the link below for a grade 7 activity that illustrates the Rayleigh effect.

rayleigh_scatter activity

2 thoughts on “Rayleigh Scattering: Why does the sky look blue?

  1. Thanks for this!

    I want to use this in my French Immersion science class… and I also have a French teaching blog. I’m wondering:
    1) Does this exist somewhere in French already (i.e. have you or STAO translated it & made it available?)
    2) If not, would you be willing to give me permission to make a French version & to share it as a free download from my blog? (I’d be happy to show it to you in advance, as well as obviously allow you to use it if you wish!)

    My blog is Teaching FSL


    • Thanks for asking Tammy. I’m glad you found the post useful. Unfortunately, we don’t have a French version. Since this document was developed by STAO for sharing, you are welcome to share it on your blog.
      Best wishes



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