Some fantastic information about why we see the things to do when we gaze skyward.
Have you every looked up at the sky and thought, Wow that’s beautiful! Life can get pretty crazy but when there is a beautiful sunny sky with clouds to look at, that can make things better. If you are night time sky looker, the stars and the moon are great sights to see too. Whether the day or the night, there are many things you can see as you look up at the sky. There is even a national day for it annually on April 14. With many interesting views you can look up at the sky to see, First Alert Meteorologist Grant Roberts talks about why you see the things you see in the sky and how they form up there.
Clouds are beautiful to look up at the sky. There are 4 main types of clouds such as Cumulus, Cirrus, Nimbus, and Stratus. Interestingly enough, there endless shapes and formations are made up of atmospheric water. A couple interesting facts about clouds is they are not as weightless as they seem. Even though they look like bunch up cotton balls, clouds can weigh more than a million pounds on average. If there is a thunderstorm, they can hold to the billions pounds of water in a tiny part in the sky.
Now how does the blue sky turn into a beautiful sunset? The sun shows the light spectrum: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. The interaction with the sun can result in three different behaviors: absorption, transmission, and reflection. The gaseous sea contains varies types of particles with the two most common being nitrogen and oxygen. These particles are more effective in scattering higher frequency and short wavelengths. The particles can scatter in many directions so depending on the frequency of the light, that is what color will be visible. The higher frequency colors, such as blue and violet, are easier for the light from the sun to pass through them in the atmosphere. Since our eyes more sensitive to the light, the blue frequency stands out and that is why the sky is blue.
Meanwhile at the lower frequency colors: red, orange and yellow. These are the colors that make the sunset. The colors come during the midday and the frequencies of light are not as intense. Sunlight has more yellow frequencies and that is why the sun is yellow in the atmosphere to our eyes from the sky. As the sun goes down, the light scatters and encounter more atmospheric particles. During sunset hours, the light in the atmosphere that passes through our eyes are red and orange frequencies of light. The more particles in the sky the color we see.
If you are night sky watcher, looking up in the sky you can see stars. Stars are luminous spheres of plasma; a superheated gas with a magnetic field. They are mostly made hydrogen and makes the stars fuse. This processes releases energy and pushes against the outer layer of the star with the heat and light keeping it stable. Interesting facts about stars are they were the first objects in the galaxy. In addition, the sun is actually the closets star to the earth. Plus, even though the starts look close together when you look at them, they are really far apart. Except in constellations where the stars are combined and close together to make different shapes.
Last object that you might see in the night sky is the moon. The moon is the Earth’s natural satellite, which is a space body that orbits the planet. When you look in the sky sometimes you see the moon in different shapes or phases. The different phases are a lunar, last-quarter, first-quarter, crescent, and the full moon. There are different kinds of each moon phases. To learn more about them click here. We also have a story on the website called, The Names of Every Full Moon, if you would like to check that out for an interesting fact. The moon is also different colors. Depending on the sun’s light, the moon will reflect on the lunar surface which drastically effects the color of the moon. With the scattering that I talked about with the sunsets, the same concepts goes for the moon as well as. The most common moon color people see is the Blood moon which is red.