Rayleigh scattering



  • (written as Rayleigh Scattering)
    The effect whereby light of different colours is scattered differentially in gas or by suspended particles. The Earth’s sky is blue because the Rayleigh scattering affects blue light most. In the thin Martian atmosphere, the sky is red, because the slight blue colour due to light scattered by the air is far less powerful than the red colour due to scattering by dust particles suspended in the atmosphere.


  • Scattering of electromagnetic radiation, such as light, by particles which are much smaller than the wavelength of the propagating radiation. For example, the scattering of solar radiation by particles in the atmosphere makes the sky overhead appear bluish, and sunsets as reddish, as light seen above is comparatively scattered, while that of a sunset is comparatively unscattered.