Learn Something New #1

Posted: March 6, 2008 in Learn Something New

What is “Learn Something New”
A lot of us have one or two areas of knowledge we strive to know very well, notably things that are related to our jobs, and sometimes related to our hobbies. While it is very important to develop a deep understanding of these things, it is also important to develop a broad understanding of the world in general!

A lot of people think that learning just to learn something new is for schoolchildren, that these things don’t impact directly on their lives and are thus “trivia”.
There are however a lot of good reasons to make learning a part of your daily routine. A couple of practical reasons:

Learning gives us a range of perspectives to call on

It helps us to adapt to new situations

It feeds our innovation

It makes us more confident

So, to help with this, I am starting a weekly Thursday Series called “Learn Something New” where I’ll present something I’ve found throughout the week that may be new to you and will help you have some understanding of things. They may not be serious things, and you may not be able to use it right away, but you’ll always be prepared for when someone says “Why is the sky Blue” and you are able to answer them, and sound smart in the process! Also, if you have something cool and informative to use for a week of “Learn Something New” email it to me!

So here is week one of “Learn Something New”.

Why is the sky blue?

During the day (daylight) the sky has a blue appearance because the Sun’s light (white light) is made up of rainbow of colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet) of different wavelengths. This means, all these different colors of light combine to give you what is called white light. When sunlight enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it collides with air particles in the atmosphere (mainly nitrogen (78 %) and oxygen (21%.) that causes the scattering of sunlight around the sky. The light with the shorter wavelength is scattered more by this collision than light with longer wavelengths. In this case, violet light is scattered the most, but human eyes do not see this color very well. However, since the human eyes are more sensitive to blue light (the next most scattered visible color), you will see the sky as blue. This therefore means that the blueness of the sky is from the blue light that is scattered from the sunlight in the atmosphere which, then enters our eyes from all regions of the sky.

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