Dear 100 Hour Board,
I was studying for my Chem 106 class today and I read that ozone, the layer of gas that protects the earth from harmful solar radiation, actually has a blue color to it. I've often heard that the reason the sky is blue is because of light wavelength, reflection, yadda yada. Whats the real deal on this? Why is the sky blue?
-A kid with his head in the clouds
CAPCOM gave a jolly good answer for why the sky is blue on 02 Feb 2001. Me old comrade-in-arms Morwen in Madison has an even better answer (and shorter): Rayleigh scattering. I stand 100% behind both of these answers, doncha know. But yes, old boy, ozone is blue. It, however, has a negligible effect on sky color because of its exceedingly low concentration (.3 ppm), and the fact that most of it is in the stratosphere. The ozone in the stratosphere is in a jolly dynamic steady state, doncha know, and it's constantly being created and destroyed from the larger pool of lower energy diatomic oxygen, what, what. Hence, it protects us very bally well from UV without being at a very bally high concentration.
- Basil Stag Hare