Why Does the Sun Appear Reddish Early in the Morning? - Science

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Answer in Brief

Why does the sun appear reddish early in the morning? Will this phenomenon be observed by an observer on the moon? Justify your answer with a reason.

Why does the Sun appear reddish early in the morning?

Give scientific reason :

The sun appears reddish early in the morning.

Why does the sun appear reddish early in the morning? Will this phenomenon be observed by an astronaut on the Moon ? Give reason to justify your answer.

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Solution 1

At sunrise, the Sun is located near the horizon of the Earth and hence, light has to travel a long distance through the Earth’s atmosphere. The suspended atmospheric particles have a wavelength similar to that of blue light. When sunlight falls on the atmosphere, the blue light is scattered out by these atmospheric particles. The light that reaches the surface of the Earth is predominantly red. Hence, when this less scattered red light reaches our eyes, the Sun and its surroundings appear reddish.

No, the same phenomenon will not occur on the Moon as there is no atmosphere on its surface to scatter light.

Solution 2

At the time of sunrise or sunset, the sun is very close to the horizon. Sunlight has to travel a longer path through the atmosphere to reach the observer. The blue and violet colours are scattered in a greater amount than red colour. They are scattered away from the path of light as the thickness of the atmosphere is more between the horizon and the observer. The light that reaches the observer is mostly red and yellow. Hence the colour of the sky is reddish orange.

Concept: Applications of Scattering of Light
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Chapter 11: The Human Eye and the Colourful World - Exercises [Page 198]

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