Why can't Earth's blue sky be seen from space?

If light from the sun causes a reaction that makes the sky appear blue, why isn't it visible in satellite photos? It also seems that when a craft ascends from Earth to space the surrounding atmosphere doesn't turn blue but the horizon slowly changes from blue to black..

13 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Here's the earth in perspective. See that globe in the corner of the classroom? It's probably a foot, maybe two feet in diameter. The earth's atmosphere scaled down to that size would be as thin as the skin of an onion. Now you tell me that if anyone was out there in space looking back on the earth to the same scale, they would be able to see the "blue" of the atmosphere? I think not. (BTY I'm not being facetious here just factual). However, the earth's atmosphere does make its color apparent at certain locations and times. During a lunar eclipse, we see the moon not blackened but darkened with a ruddy haze. This is caused by sunlight refracting through earth's atmosphere. If you were on the moon during that eclipse and look back at the earth, you'd see the dark side of the earth surrounded by a reddish glow.********Addition****** The color of liquid water does have a blue tint to it. And the deeper the body of water, the deeper that tint gets. Also, earth is also called the Blue Planet because of the color of its water as seen from space, not its atmosphere.

    Source(s): I teach physics, too.
  • 8 years ago

    It is visible, but only if you know what you are looking for. The atmosphere is very thin compared to the size of the Earth. Looking down through it the brightness of the the things below is more than enough to show through it clearly. If you look at images of the Earth's limb taken from low Earth orbit you can see the layer of blue atmosphere right at the edge.

  • 8 years ago

    If you wanna get technical, you CAN see the blue sky from space.. in any picture of the Earth from space the water appears blue.. the water is not ACTUALLY blue though, it's the reflection of the sky into the water... therefore you can see the blue sky (through the water) from space.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    When viewing the sky from earth the light is reflected by the atmosphere at a certain angle making the sky seem blue, as this is the light which hits your eye.

    From space the light reflected doesn't hit your eye as the same angle.

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  • 8 years ago

    Sky & rainbow are phenomena observable from ground. While sky appears blue and as a permanent fixture, a rainbow is rare & only at some places. For want of better words you may call them 'apparitions'. Even from satellites Earth appears shrouded in a blue veil of a 'Sky' indicating its terrestrial origin & links.

  • Clay
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    The light we see as blue, is coming TOWARD the earth, now we can see an effect from it from space though, the oceans are "blue" because they reflect the skys light.

  • GeoffG
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Earth's blue sky is caused by Rayleigh scattering by air molecules. When you're in space, there are no air molecules, hence no blue in the sky. But when you look _down_ at Earth, you do see blue along the Earth's horizon.

  • 4 years ago

    you could not see the celebrities from a spacecraft taking photographs of the earth because of the fact the celebrities are plenty farther from the earth than the spacecraft is, i.e., the starts are at the back of you. in case you turn the digital camera around to the different element of the gap craft you will see lots of stars. Heck, once you're fortunate you additionally can see some Martians!

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    that is because since there is no water in space,this causes the atmosphere to look different

  • 8 years ago

    You can see our blue atmosphere from space, some people call it "the thin blue line" you see it on the horizon, here are a few pictures of it.




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