We are surrounded by colour but most of us take it for granted, have you ever wondered for instance why the sky is blue? Colour makes sense when you have an understanding of where colour comes from (the theory). It helps you understand colour therapy which has an impact on colour trends. So why is the sky blue?
Who knew the sun is actually the artist. Sunlight travels to earth from the sun as beams of white light, but what we don’t see is that this white light is actually made up of a spectrum of colours. We don’t see the colours as light travels to earth at such a high speeds, it is only when light is slowed down we are able to see the different colours because each colour has a different frequency and wavelength.
Red has the longest wavelength and slowest frequency followed by orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Violet has the shortest wavelength and fastest frequency.
There are three ways we can see the colours of light.
Light is reflected: – by droplets of water for example. (creating a rainbow)
Light is bent: – When white light enters a prism we are able to see the different colours because each colour has a different wavelength and frequency it bends by a different amount.
Light is scattered: Particles in the atmosphere scatter light.
When sunlight enters the atmosphere on it’s way to earth, not all the shorter, smaller waves of light can get through the tiny particles of oxygen and nitrogen in the air and these particles scatter the blue light. While violet rays are also scattered our eyes are more sensitive to blue light which is why the sky appears blue.
Closer to the horizon the sky is a lighter blue because it has passed through even more air and more blue light has been scattered.
When the sun sets on the horizon it passes through more of the atmosphere and larger particles of dust and vapour reflect and scatter not only blue light but the larger, longer waves of red and yellow too. Which is why we see the beautiful sunsets of red and purple.
And there you have it. I hope you have a wonderful week.
If you have any queries on colour I would love to hear from you.