Did you enjoy reading about the power of sunlight on pages 8-9 of our Solar Science issue ? Then this is the activity for you !
– Find out the reasons why the sky is blue on fine , sunny days
– Investigate the science of sunset and sunrise
1 hour for the experiment and a whole lot of sky-gazing !
Individual / small group work DIFFICULTY : Easy peasy
HARVEY ’ s mIssION
OK , what we ’ re doing here can be a little hard to achieve . BUT , we ’ re determined AQUILAnauts with vast imaginations , and we won ’ t be beaten ! This experiment is going to show us how particles in the atmosphere reflect and scatter sunlight . This will help us understand why a sunny day gives us a beautiful blue sky . The effects will be quite subtle and you ’ re going to need to conduct this experiment in as dark a room as possible . Let ’ s get going , torches at the ready !
YOU WILL NEED
– Dark room – Tall , straight glass – Torch – Some milk – A teaspoon get started
PHASE 1 :
Fill your glass with cold water and add half a teaspoon of milk . Let it settle and don ’ t stir it . Too much , too soon will spoil the effect . Take the glass into your dark room and try shining the torch at it from different angles . Observe how the colour of the milky water changes . Hold the torch very close to the glass to get the best effect and try looking down at the top of the glass – the reflected light should have a darkish , blueish tinge .
PHASE 2 :
Add another half a teaspoon of milk and repeat the process with the torch . If you look at the torch through the glass it becomes more yellow now , like the Sun during the day .