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Why the sky is blue

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The “Tyndall effect” and “Rayleigh scattering” are the accepted explanations for the blue color of the sky. However, since heavy rainfall is known to remove particulates as well as the gases and yet the sky actually becomes a deeper blue in color, both explanations are probably invalid. The current author proposes the following explanation for the blue color of the sky: This is the pale blue of ozone gas, which will appear deeper blue when there are sufficient quantities of it. Further, ozone attains an even deeper blue color when it becomes a liquid at around a temperature of 161 K (-112  °C) and a blue to violet-black solid at temperatures below 82 K (-193.2  °C). The latter is the case in the lower Stratosphere, especially near the poles. Also, since ozone absorbs ultraviolet radiations, it is likely that some of the spectra close to UV (such as violet, indigo, and blue) radiations are also absorbed or scattered by ozone and this may add to the blue color of the ozone layer. To an observer on the surface of the earth, the many layers of dust and other particulates in the intervening Troposphere, which dampen the deep blue of the ozone layer, will make the “sky” appear less blue. How much each of the above factors contributes to the color of the sky is not known but jointly, they can explain all the observed phenomena.
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Keywords: Ozone; Rayleigh Scattering; Stratosphere; Tyndall Effect

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 22 March 2017

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  • Physics Essays has been established as an international journal dedicated to theoretical and experimental aspects of fundamental problems in Physics and, generally, to the advancement of basic knowledge of Physics. The Journal's mandate is to publish rigorous and methodological examinations of past, current, and advanced concepts, methods and results in physics research. Physics Essays dedicates itself to the publication of stimulating exploratory, and original papers in a variety of physics disciplines, such as spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, particle physics, electromagnetic theory, astrophysics, space physics, mathematical methods in physics, plasma physics, philosophical aspects of physics, chemical physics, and relativity.
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