Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Makes the Sky Blue?

After a week of studying germs, and a week of studying earthquakes, we were ready for some blue skies, and happiness. Of course, that led us to the question, "What makes the sky blue?"

We found our answer, or at least one good enough for our understanding, in an experiment from Jean Potter's Science in Seconds for Kids, which contains over 100 experiments you can do in ten minutes, or less (pretty cool).

We started with a jar of water, and a flashlight. Shining the light through the water, in a dark room, we could see the light bouncing off bits of dust floating in the water, but not very well.

Then, we added a few drops of milk to the water, and tried again. This time the light bounced off of the milk particles, reflecting back pale blue waves of light, just like the sunlight reflecting off of the particles of dust, and water vapor in the atmosphere, making the sky appear blue.

For a more extensive version of this experiment, check out the Blue Sky, Red Sunset experiment from Science is Fun.

Or, check out the Science Sunday link up at Adventures in Mommydom, for more children's science fun.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

You always have great links - I bookmarked your reference page for the future. We didn't have "blue sky" question yet, but I bet Anna is going to ask it fairly soon :)

Julie said...

What a great experiment for showing why the sky is blue. I'm going to look for that book!

Ticia said...

I'll have to do this when the kids next ask why the sky is blue. What a great explanation, and I've added this book to my want to buy list.
Great experiment as always.

Mozi Esme said...

I love having a literal answer to that question!